NJ School District Investigates After Students Watch, Record Brutal Beating

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — School district officials are reaching out to families after some Ridgewood High School students allegedly stood by, watched and recorded the brutal beating of a fellow student.

Grace, a senior, told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock she saw video of a fight that happened on Ridgewood School District grounds after school hours.

“It made me so upset,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh, I can’t watch that.'”

Baba, a sophomore, said he wanted to know what all the buzz was about and ended up watching the video, too.

“It shows one kid like basically just beating the tar out of the other kid,” he said. “Like it was not really a fair fight.”

The superintendent sent home a letter Friday addressed to the school community, writing the “Administration has been investigating a serious student incident that rose to the level of police involvement.” It “involved the misuse of social media, destruction of school property and violence.”

When asked if she thought it was OK for students to watch and record the incident, Grace said: “I don’t think the recording was bad because it’s good for the police so they have something to look back on to see what really happened. But it was kind of upsetting to see a group of people egging them on.”

“Not what you want to see happening to a high school student,” said another student.

“I feel kind of ashamed this happened,” another student said. “I feel like we’re better than this as a school.”

The superintendent expressed similar sentiments, writing, “It is also disappointing that other students were present who videoed the incident rather than attempted to intervene in order to prevent physical harm (that was) unnecessary and unacceptable violence.”

The superintendent also wrote that anyone who was found to be involved in the incident will be held accountable.

School administrators say they plan to use the incident to address “witness behavior.”

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