School Altercations Stem from Social Media

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DOTHAN, AL--Corporal Jim Matheny has walked the halls of Northview High School for three years.
He says as a school resource officer, when it comes to fights on campus there's protocol.

"If it's an on view fight, we as officers can take action by taking someone to the diversion center or city jail," said Jim Matheny.

But since it's hard for officers to be everywhere all the time. If there is a fight they don't witness, school administration steps in with the consequences.
But either way it's all documented.

"Sometimes you got to decipher if it's just a bunch of talk or actually physical contact, a report is made and the parents are notified," added Matheny.

Corporal Methany says based on his experience, most of the altercations stem from social media.

"Meaning Facebook, meaning Twitter. They have it out there in cyberspace bring it to school and they haven't even made face to face contact and they're getting all huffy and puffy and nobody has sexually come in their face but they get so upset and they go up to the person and something will start," explained Methany.

In Houston County schools, Sheriff Hughes says besides the normal school yard fights, threats are popular.

"We've had several incidents of where students had a list of people who they were going to go to school and kill or threats on Facebook and some other types of social media."

He says arrests have been made in some of those cases.
Since the county currently has only one school resource officer, other deputies help keep an eye out.

"Our regular deputies on patrol are told you don't drive pass a school unless you pull through the parking lot if you're not busy."

Sheriff Hughes says they've recently made some recommendations to upgrade security at some schools.

Dothan police have 9 school resource officers who service 20 schools in the area.

For a complete look at the school violence report, go to 4 More Info.

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