NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. - The video, posted on Instagram, shows one North Tonawanda High School student punching another student repeatedly in the face. The posted video is only about 10 seconds long and on a loop.
Channel 2 reached out to North Tonawanda Superintendent, Greg Woytila, about the video on Monday. He confirmed the fight happened in the NTHS cafeteria on Friday.
Woytila turned down an on camera interview simply stating that a hearing would take place this week to decide disciplinary action.
He then referred to an official statement, posted on the school district's Facebook page:
"In response to the fight in the cafeteria at NTHS this past Friday, the school district is working with authorities to ensure that the proper steps are taken to address the situation. To the extent appropriate, disciplinary measures will be taken against those responsible. We are working with the families to offer support and ensure this does not happen again."
We reached out to NTPD Chief Roger Zgolak who said, "We have no complaint. No parent has come forward. Unfortunately some pea brain puts this on social media, and now everybody thinks that North Tonawanda is the bullying capital of Western New York."
Chief Zgolak says what the Instagram video does not show is how the student who was punched, had reportedly thrown food across the cafeteria first, instigating the confrontation. Police officers and EMT's responded to the school Friday because of the extent of the one student's injuries.
"We have no complaint," reiterated Zgolak. "No parent has come forward saying 'My kid was beat up. I want somebody arrested. I want somebody charged.' We have nothing. We're done with it as far as I'm concerned."
When Channel 2 asked if he was downplaying the severity of the student's actions he said no, "I'm just saying, number 1, it's not a case of bullying. It was a fight between two juveniles, precipitated by one angering another. No, I do not condone what the lashing out student did. But I got to believe the school district is handling it the way that they would, in house."
"We are taking it seriously," said Mayor Art Pappas after Channel 2 showed him the video. "We do not want to tolerate this kind of behavior in our community."
As of Monday morning, Woytila said they still have not set a date and time for the Superintendent's hearing, but it needs to happen within 5 days of the incident. The hearing involves a number of different parties, the students involved and their parents, witnesses, high school principals, as well as the school district attorney.
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