A Kingston psychologist is voicing concerns about a disturbing video that went viral in the Kingston area. The video, which has since been taken down from social media, shows two teenage girls fighting, while adults and other bystanders appear to be cheering them on.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Kris Boksman calls the incident concerning, saying it’s not typically the kind of behaviour you see with teen girls.
“The bullying with females tends to be more in the social arena than in the physical arena,” said Boksman.
She added, “It could have been an act of desperation, it could have been an act of poor guidance on the part of the parents to try to nip something in the bud and it could simply be a reflection of very poor frustration tolerance on the part of the girls.”
While Boksman can’t speak to the motives behind the incident, she says it’s concerning how the parents of one of the teens caught on camera didn’t try to stop the fight, and also appears to be cheering on their daughter.
“It’s possible that this is not abnormal for those people and it’s part of their lifestyle and family culture. It’s also possible, I can imagine, that if this was a case of bullying. People may have felt as if they had enough and tried other channels and it didn’t work, because I’ve certainly heard that that can happen,” said Boksman.
Boksman adds high school students are certainly old enough to know that this type of behaviour is not appropriate and that bystanders need to step up.
“Picking up your phone and calling 911, running inside and getting a teacher, because if everybody who’s standing by, who knows that this isn’t OK, and knows that the people need help, just assume that somebody else has already taken action, then things can go on longer than they need to, ” said Boksman.
“The more people that you can rally for doing the right thing, I think the more effective that is.”
The Limestone District School Board has also released a statement: “While the incident was videotaped and later posted to social media, did not occur during school hours, or on school property.
“It is disturbing. In addition to the incident itself, it shows several bystanders — some of whom appear to be adults — who did not attempt to prevent or intervene, but in fact, further incite those involved. This kind of behaviour is not acceptable, and is not tolerated in our schools.”
The statement went on to say: “The Board is following up with the students involved, and will be working together with our families and school to ensure a positive, supportive and safe school environment for everyone.”
According to Kingston police, this is still an open investigation. Police are deciding whether charges such as assault or causing a disturbance should be laid. Investigators have already identified the two teen girls in the fight, and are working to identify the bystanders. Kingston police would also like anyone with information about this incident to come forward.