DEARBORN, Mich. (FOX 2) - Dearborn schools say that a video of a boy beating a girl does not show the whole story - and that both children are to blame.
Both children were friends at one point and a parent says this is not the first time there's been trouble between them. Both students are in trouble for that fight that's making the rounds on social media.
Video shows a boy seen slapping a girl on the head. Another student tried to intervene, the boy then tosses the girl to the ground before the other student pulls him away.
"If a boy wasn't in that class I don't know what would've happened," said Alena Safieddine, who's the girl in the video.
"At first he pushed me on my chest and I said, 'Alright he's playing around, so I'll just push back or whatever,' and then I pushed back and he (was) slapping me on my face and the anger just came out," she said.
It all happened at O.L. Smith Middle School in Dearborn during a physical education class Monday. It is another instance of an unsettling school trend called a 30-second fight.
"Sometimes boys like to joke around with these things like fights," she said. "Like when he said 30-second fight I was like wait, what?"
O.L. Smith Principal Zeina Jebril sent a letter to parents saying: "The video only shows the final moments and the very unfortunate outcome of a situation that began as what was described by witnesses as fooling around and horseplay.
"These two students let their emotions get out of hand and made bad choices on how to resolve their situation. Now both students are being disciplined."
"I mean, he hit her twice, oh she hit him back so she's at the same fault as him? No, it's not right he's a boy, she's a girl," said her mother Muneera Safieddine.
Muneera says does not agree with how the school's decision to punish both students.
"I don't want to send her back to school unless that kid is expelled because that's not the first time he hit my daughter," Muneera said.
A spokesman for Dearborn Public Schools says both students were disciplined appropriately according to the student code of conduct and the results of a thorough investigation, that included interviewing students and staff who saw the fight and what lead up to it.
The full statement from DPS said:
Greetings O.L. Smith Community,
I’m saddened to once again have to share with you information regarding an event that took place at the end of the day on Monday, February 10, 2020.
By now, some of you may have seen video of two Smith students fighting with each other. The video only shows the final moments and the very unfortunate outcome of a situation that began as what was described by witnesses as “fooling around and horseplay."
Our investigation and interviews with witnesses provide a more complete picture of what led up to this isolated event. These two students let their emotions get out of hand and made bad choices on how to resolve their situation.
Our legal obligation to protect the privacy of students does not allow us to provide details on disciplinary actions taken in response to this event but we can assure parents that we have spoken with all parties involved and followed the Dearborn Public Schools Student Code of Conduct.
Part of growing up is learning how to control our emotions and tempers and many middle school students are still working to develop those skills. However, there is no excuse for students to engage in this type of behavior and this will not be acceptable at our school. I know that the few seconds of video does not reflect the the overall conduct of our students or the culture and climate in our building.
I’m confident that our school community will continue to focus on the successes of our students and the accomplishments of our school while also being aware that we must continuously work together to create a safe and secure school for all O.L. Smith students.