Indianapolis, Ind.—Hundreds of teens watched and did little to help as a 17 year old beat his 16 year old classmate inside an Indianapolis high school Wednesday.
Students say it's just the latest in a rash of fights and violence within Southport High School in the first month of school, and they say the internet, social media and cell phones are playing a role in the growing problem.
Kelshaw's swollen cheek, nose and temple are the result of four or five punches to the face delivered by a 17 year old student shortly after finishing lunch inside Southport High School.
The attacker told police that he thought Kelshaw took his iPod, which he did not. The 17 year old who threw the punches was arrested on juvenile charges of Battery and Disorderly Conduct. Kelshaw chose not to fight back.
"I just kept my cool and guarded myself the best I could," Kelshaw said.
As Zack covered himself, the responding officer said 200-300 students gathered around the fight. According to the police report, the school police officer Partick Murphy wrote, "It became a very dangerous situation for the building and the educational environment. It took approximately 20 minutes for teachers and police to get the building's order restored."
It was a scene eerily similar to a video uncovered by Fox59 late last week, which a cell phone video posted by a Southport student of a fight inside the cafeteria not long after the school year began. Instead of jumping in, several students posted their own cell-phone video footage online. One such video has generated well over 2,000 views.
Kelshaw says the videos seem to be taking the violence to another level.
"Kids just instigate fights. They just keep going. They keep doing it more and more," Kelshaw said.
FOX 59: "Is the internet playing into that do you think?"
Kelshaw: "Yeah, so when people watch it they're like, 'Well she got beat up and she got beat up, so let's go start rumors about her being weak and everything.'"
Kelshaw says the rumors and harrassing behavior has been generated online as well. Last week Fox59 also uncovered a Facebook page called the "Southport Highschoolburnbook," which featured rumors and insults posted about selected students by their classmates.
Students familiar with the page told Fox59 that the site posted many hurtful comments, alleging one student had the AIDS virus, and also encouraged and instigated fights.
On Friday, the Perry Township school district responded to the site, referring to it as a clear violation of school rules and an example of cyber-bullying. Within hours of Fox 59 bringing it to the attention of the district, the site vanished from Facebook.
However, despite repeated requests since the "burnbook" page disappeared, the district has not provided any comment or statement to Fox 59 regarding the site, the ongoing violence at the school or the cell phone video of fights.
Meanwhile, Kelshaw says students are going frustrated with the problem.
"There's been a lot of fights for stupid reasons," he said. "And there's just no discipline being done."