Hazleton Area High School security officers came under fire for a video that was posted to social media by a student.
The clip looked brutal and the officers involved in the incident stirred up anger amongst students and parents. However, School District Police Officers said the video doesn’t tell the whole story.
Chief Ed Harry told WBRE:
“It’s important to know there are always two sides to every story and it’s really important for parents and students and community members to get both sides of those stories before going to social media.”
The chaotic scene from a 20-second clip took place in a Hazleton, Pennsylvania high school cafeteria on Monday. The video shows a violent restraint of a 15-year-old female student by three security officers.
At one point an officer is seen punching the girl in her legs before gripping her by the hair and forcing her head onto a table.
Watch the video below:
A student who posted the incident to Facebook called for the officers to be fired. She wrote:
This is the hazleton area school district security. THIS IS NOT OKAY! She is a female student not an animal. let’s get this man fired.
The video shows the officers used force to de-escalate a fight that occurred inside the cafeteria.
Big ups to all the students for making this situation known and standing up for their fellow classmate!
— Just like that (@kayejaye83) February 6, 2019
The cop need to be fired she did not deserve that!! SMH
— Tally Kimble (@TK99213731) February 6, 2019
Shoutout to every student that jumped in because they knew they were wrong
— japanese barbeque finger ? (@bobeaubreaux) February 6, 2019
fire and arrest these cops right now! #hazelton
— Joel A. Nichols (@joelanichols) February 6, 2019
The district’s superintendent told Buzzfeed the officers responded appropriately based on their training.
School Security Director Edward Harry said he reviewed the full video and the clip circulating social media doesn’t show the huge brawl that broke out between two female students that quickly escalated.
Harry said the public only saw a small portion of what actually happened. The chief told WBRE:
“At that point, the officer had to get that under control immediately. You can see from the snippet of vide there were hundreds of kids in the cafeteria and they were cheering her on yelling and cheering her on. They needed to deescalate that.”
Four students involved in three separate fights inside the high school cafeteria were suspended.
Watch the video below: