Fight club alarms police, ODSS staff
Police considering charges
Parents curious as to why their teenage son is coming home from school bruised and bloodied may want to visit www.youtube.com and type in ODSS — there they will find posted video clips of young boys participating in a “fight club.”
Their behaviour has managed to attract the attention of school staff and police, who together have launched an educational campaign in a bid to get them to stop.
“Some students, from what seems to be predominantly ODSS, are involved in a form of a fight club,” explained Const. Scott Davis. “They’re squaring off and somebody is video taping this footage and then posting it on the Internet.”
Accompanied by music, the videos show teens throwing punches at one another while large groups of kids stand around and cheer.
The footage is graphic at times and often shows young men walking away with cuts and gashes and blood streaming down their faces.
Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre and Orangeville District secondary school can clearly be viewed in the background, and several clips even identify the fighters.
Even more disturbing is the footage of younger looking children squaring off on Murray’s Mountain, the field that divides Princess Elizabeth elementary school with ODSS.
The most recent footage was listed as being posted just last week on Sept. 13.
“The fights are very graphic and that’s very disturbing,” continued Davis noting that staff at ODSS notified police. “First of all we’re trying to identify all of the players involved and then we’re going to see if there are any grounds to lay charges.”
Police are watching the website regularly for updates and have increased police presence at the school.
But Davis noted that even if officers manage to round up these individuals it would be difficult to do anything about it, seeing as participants have consented to exchanging blows.
“I doubt that there will be any (charges),” Davis told The Banner. “You can consent to a fight and that’s not breaking the law. Where it becomes an offence is when someone suffers bodily harm and this is just kind of walking that line. There’s an argument for a cause of disturbance by fighting, which is another criminal offence, but then somebody has to be disturbed by it. And it doesn’t appear that any of the people are being disturbed and we haven’t been called.
“At the very least, with the absence of charges, what we want to do is talk to these individuals. We want to caution them with respect to possible future charges and civil liability and let their parent’s know ‘Hey this is what your kid is doing.’ But if we can lay charges then we certainly will. This is something we are not going to take lightly.”
Principal Deb Magahay said staff are currently trying to formulate a way to address and deal with the issue.
Staff are concerned not only with students’ safety but also worried that this behaviour will hurt the reputation of the school, Magahay told The Banner.
“It’s a huge issue in terms of school reputation,” Magahay said. “What we are going to do in this school is create an awareness to the inappropriateness of doing such a thing, especially in a school where we are trying to create a positive image.”
A press conference hosted by the Orangeville Police Service was slated for this morning (Sept. 19).
Orangeville Teens Duke It Out In Their Version Of ‘Fight Club’
Thursday September 21, 2006
In the major motion picture ‘Fight Club’, starring Brad Pitt, it is reiterated over and over again that the first rule of ‘Fight Club’ is you don’t talk about ‘Fight Club.’ It seems that a group of testosterone-soaked teens in Orangeville aren’t following the rules.
A group of teens have been staging bareknuckle brawls for quite some time and they’re not only talking about the fistic storms of violence, but posting video of the often short but rambunctious bouts on a popular internet site, attracting a sudden storm of attention.
The combatants are believed to be students at Orangeville District Secondary School and they’ve apparently been organizing the unsanctioned bouts for the past two years.
“Some of the kids get beat up pretty bad,” reveals Ben Smith, who often watches his peers trade punches. “Black eyes. Broken noses. Broken hands.”
Smith say the fights are usually planned the day before and despite the kicking, punching, and stomping, the kids involved do it all for fun.
“They last anywhere from two to eight minutes,” he reveals. “Often they shake hands after.”
The fights take place in a field behind the school and some of the participants are believed to be as young as 13.
The youthful promoters of the fights are no ‘Don Kings’, but through word of mouth, almost half the school has been known to show up to watch the carnage.
“Some people plan out the fights, and then they say at this time, at this place, and then everybody finds out, and they all go to it,” reveals another student.
Despite efforts by police to stop the fights, some students say they’ll find a way to keep the Fight Club going.
Police say there likely won’t be any charges laid in the case, but still want to talk to any participants.