(03/16/2018)
3-15-2018 - Ritchie County Schools Superintendent Ora Coffman told TV 5 News (Clarksburg) that students have been disciplined and the prosecutor's office is expected to bring charges, after the release of two videos that depicted fights involving high school and middle school students.

The Ritchie County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that officers were investigating apparent altercations at the Ritchie County High School and Middle School complex, but that "any criminal charges stemming from these incidents are strictly confidential by state statute."

The prosecutor's office could not immediately be reached Wednesday.

The two videos generated outrage in the community after they appeared on Facebook Monday, the day the fights occurred.

In one video, a male student strikes another male student with his fist. A teacher enters the frame toward the end of the video and orders them to break it up.

Parents and community members said the second video is more disturbing. In it, a female student tackles another female student to the ground in the cafeteria.

It was not learned how the videos were leaked.

3-14-2018 - Police in Ritchie County have confirmed to Clarksburg's 5 News that they are investigating apparent altercations between students at the high school and middle school.

The fights were caught on tape and were sent to 5 News, along with concerns about students' safety.

It was not clear on how the TV station obtained the recordings since school systems are reluctant to verify incidents or problems that lead to disciplinary action, citing legal protections.

Ritchie County Schools Superintendent Ora Coffman did confirm there were two fights yesterday, but that they do not reflect a cultural problem at the schools.

"It is unfair and unwarranted to say that we always have fights or that our schools are not safe," Coffman said.


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