OAK CREEK - The Facebook page "Oak Creek Fights" where a number of videos and images of fights taking place at Oak Creek High School were posted has disappeared off the social networking site as of April 12.
The page was available the day prior and had received some attention from parents, prompting Superintendent Tim Culver to release a statement. In it, he said the district had tried multiple times to have the page taken down.
"Sadly, someone is using Facebook to promote criminal activity among school-age children, and Facebook has denied our multiple requests to have the page taken down," Culver wrote.
The oldest post found on the page while it was live April 11 was from 2015. Videos appeared to be shot in school hallways as well as a school bathroom.
School board member Mark Verhalen said he had mentioned that Culver should try again to get the page taken down by contacting Facebook. He said he wasn't sure if the superintendent had, in fact, attempted to contact them again yet.
While there were a number of videos on the page, Verhalen said Culver had led the school board to believe "a lot of the pictures were of the same altercation," possibly from different angles.
"It looks different, but it's the same students," Verhalen said, adding that he doesn't think fights are a widespread problem in the schools.
In his statement, Culver said the videos were a "handful of fights" occurring within the last 18 months with some happening on school property.
"It is very disturbing to see children fight, and even more disturbing to have to deal with it as school discipline which results in students' interaction with law enforcement," Culver wrote.
Verhalen said part of the reason Facebook may not have wanted to take it down was due to freedom of speech and it not being a depiction of a crime. However, Verhalen said it was a different kind of situation with the incidents happening on school grounds.
"When you’re on school grounds it’s kind of a different situation than if you’re in the middle of the street or at a restaurant," he said.
Verhalen added the school district "hasn't been afraid in the past to take students to task" with suspensions or expulsions in situations like this.
In his statement, Culver confirmed Verhalen's assertion writing that after viewing the videos every case where students were on school grounds and could be identified they were already suspended or expelled and "referred to police for legal consequences."
"Fighting in Oak Creek-Franklin schools is prohibited and will always result in, at a minimum, suspension or at maximum expulsion, and referral to our School Resource Officer," Culver wrote.