A school district in Englewood, Colorado is looking into a horrifying video posted to social media that shows two students from a local middle school brawling outside a campus building. School district officials suspect the altercation may have been organized (or semi-organized) by a school fight club. In a statement issued to parents, officials at Englewood Middle School noted that the fight, which they initially thought to be an isolated incident, may be linked to a handful of Facebook and social media groups with titles like “Fight Club” or “Englewood Fights.”
What’s arguably the scariest part of the entire ordeal, is that a lot of the fights taking place don’t really seem like stock teenage drama, and some aren’t even predicated on two kids getting into an argument. Many of the fights are allegedly taking place for social media glory. As a student at the Englewood school even pointed out, kids who are in the “fight club” regularly post videos of themselves brawling with other students. In the era of things like the Tide Pod challenge, which saw some teenagers eating the poisonous detergent pods in an attempt to go viral, or the pass out challenge, where, just like it sounds, people choke themselves until they pass out, parents are at a bit of a loss.
“Kids are picking fights just to be videotaped and posted on social media,” said the mother of a child at the school. “School is supposed to be a safe place to send our kids, and it just seems that it’s not these days.”
Though EMS has announced plans to step up school security this week, the viral nature of fight videos being posted online is hard to avoid, let alone combat. Simply Google “social media video children fighting,” and it will become clear just how large the problem is. Last year, a 10-year-old girl’s schoolyard fight was posted online and the subsequent bullying prompted the little girl to hang herself two weeks later. Just a few months before, a video surfaced of two middle school-aged boys getting into a brutal fight outside a Detroit public school. The problem of teenage fight clubs isn’t uniquely American either, similar trends have popped up in Canada as well.