A Montgomery County school board addressed "FightWeek" posts on social media and a series of brawls among students that put a high school on edge last week.
Videos of the fights this week at Abington Senior High School surfaced on social media, and school administrators sent a letter to parents on Thursday. During a meeting Tuesday night, board members said several students are being disciplined and could face expulsion. The members also said security patrols will continue to increase across the Abington School District.
The school, according to the letter sent to parents by Superintendent Amy F. Sichel, has seen five fights in the last few days. In her letter, Sichel said she was writing to set the record straight after posts on social media, some tagged "#AbingtonFightWeek" spread misinformation.
"In one case, a young man was out of control and punched our School Resource Officer," Sichel wrote. "At no time were any of the students who participated in the fights injured, and no other student or staff member was injured. There have been no weapons involved."
Sichel went on to say that all of the situations leading to the fights "began outside of school" and that administrators are continuing to investigate. She reassured parents and students that they are safe at school and said school administrators are working closely with the Abington Police Department to keep the school safe.
She blamed social media for blowing the fights out of proportion.
One video of a fight that allegedly happened at the school sent to NBC10 by a viewer shows two boys fighting in a bathroom, punching each other and pushing each other into walls, stall doors and urinals. At one point, one boy puts the other in a headlock.
In another video of a different fight sent by a viewer, two boys are brawling in a stairwell, and one kicks the other in the head before a woman -- it's unclear if she's a school employee or a female student -- and a school officer intervene.
In a third video, two girls fight before two officers break them up.
It's unclear where the hashtag "#AbingtonFightWeek" originated or exactly when the fights began.
Sichel warned that the school and police will be taking action against any students involved in fights.
"I ask that you monitor the social media activity of your children, as the genesis of several altercations involved conflicts relating to social media postings," the superintendent wrote. "Also, please share that both school consequences and charges from the Abington Police are forthcoming."
Abington Senior High School is ranked 49th among high schools across Pennsylvania by U.S. News and World Report, and 1,661st in the U.S. Its college-readiness, math and literature scores are above average in Pennsylvania, according to U.S. News rankings.