LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — A video of an on-campus fight is rapidly circulating on social media among students in Leander.
It depicts an eighth grader at Running Brushy Middle School being dragged to the ground by her hair before taking a flurry of punches and kicks to the body and face.
The Leander Independent School District said they are investigating the incident and warning students about the harm they can cause on social media.
“All of a sudden I feel my hair get pulled,” said Alexis Luna, the victim of the attack in the video. “It just happened all of a sudden.”
Luna admitted that she had told her friends that she wanted to fight her assailant off-campus. When the fellow student confronted her, Luna refused to engage. She told KXAN she didn’t want to get in trouble at school.
In the video, you can see her walking away, arm-in-arm with a friend. That’s when her assailant chases her down, grabs her ponytail and begins beating her.
“Alexis was walking away. She even said that, ‘I’m not going to get in trouble at school.’ And for that girl to come behind her and pull her hair all the way to the floor and drag her down like a rag-doll, it didn’t need to happen that way. If Alexis didn’t want to fight, [the attacker] should have just walked away,” said Deann Flores, Luna’s mother.
“Violence of any kind has no place on or off our campuses, and it is concerning and upsetting any time an incident like this occurs. Because we must respect the privacy of students shown in the video, we cannot comment on the specifics of the situation and its aftermath. We will continue working with the families involved and the larger school community to educate and emphasize the importance of meaningful conflict resolution and the responsible use of social media.”LEANDER INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
Luna said students fight each other all the time, mostly off campus. The school district said it hasn’t seen an uptick in fights, but are constantly mentoring students on being kind and respectful, especially in the digital world.
“We do talk to students over the course of the curriculum, specifically in secondary schools, to be good digital citizens and responsible on social media,” said Matt Mitchell, communications coordinator with Leander ISD. “[Teachers] talk to them about it. They say this is harmful, destructive and it’s not what we do.”
Flores believes have a school resource officer on campus could have stopped this fight from escalating.
“We never had this problem when I was in school, but nowadays, it seems like a big thing,” Flores said. “If there is so much fighting going on at that school, I think there does need to be an officer on premises.”
Leander ISD doesn’t station officers at middle schools full-time, only high schools. But Mitchell said they are always on-call.
The district said it will continue having conversations with the community to see if changes are necessary.
Leander ISD students and parents can report safety issues through Anonymous Alerts. It’s a way to notify school leaders about sensitive or urgent problems.
You can report bullying, harassment, depression, threats against the school or weapons on campus.
Submissions can be made through a smartphone or online. You’ll be asked if you’re a student, parent or staff member.
You don’t have to give your name. Select the type of school where the incident happened and the location — like a bus stop, school sponsored event or at school. You can even add screenshots with your submission.