Caught on camera: Brutal fight outside of Gibbs High School raising questions of student safety

An after school fight Tuesday sent 11th grader Quamauri Neal to the emergency room.
 
"I basically have a hole through my lip," Neal said.
 
The vicious beating, captured on camera and posted to Facebook, occurred outside of Gibbs High School. Neal said she was jumped by four girls, including two fellow Gibbs students, because she stood up for a peer who was repeatedly bullied.
 
"They decided to take their frustration out on me because I was trying to help her," Neal said. 
 
The video shows Neal getting pummeled with punches while a group of students gather around. One of the girls reportedly uses a metal lock to hit Neal in the face. 
 
"All I could do was just think about what could have happened," Neal's grandmother Bobbette Clark said. 
 
When Clark saw the clip, she said she knew something needed to be done. A Gibbs grad herself, she feels school violence has spiraled out of control. 
 
"I want a statement to be made that this cannot continue," Clark said. 
 
Pinellas County School Board member Rene Flowers echoed that same statement less than two months ago, when yet another fight was caught on camera. This one occurred inside a Gibbs High School classroom. 
 
"I just don't want to see that become the branding for students in Pinellas County because that's not what we're about," Flowers said after seeing the video.
 
But finding a solution is the tough part. Clark believes it's going to take more security in schools and many more mentors. 
 
"It didn't help in her scenario, but it may in somebody else's," she said. "This bullying has just got to stop."
 
Because the fight occurred off school grounds, officials with the Pinellas County School District said it's being handled by police. A school resource officer is currently investigating. 
 
"If during the investigation it is found that students did anything against the code of conduct during the school day, then there would be disciplinary action," said school spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra. 
 
So far no charges have been filed. 

 

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