April 17, 2014

Partly cloudy

Medina High School fight rumors spark chatter, inaccuracies

A fight among students at the Medina High School cafeteria Wednesday afternoon sparked a firestorm of rumors on social media.

A post about the fight on the Medina City Schools Outrage Page on Facebook generated more than 100 comments from concerned parents and community members.

Karla Robinson

The page was created in March as a discussion forum for issues surrounding Superintendent Randy Stepp’s new contract, particularly its $83,000 signing bonus.

One person commented on the page that police used a Taser on a student. School officials and police said this was untrue.

“No one was Tased,” said Detective Mike Wesner, who is the school resource officer for Medina High School. On Wednesday, Wesner described the incident as “a small fight.”

School officials, though, said they cannot share details of what started the fight because that would violate the privacy rights of the three students involved, who all are younger than 18.

Interim Superintendent Dave Knight said he couldn’t say much more than that there was a fight among three students Wednesday afternoon in the lunchroom.

“It was handled as we handle any fight at the school,” Knight said. “Obviously when there’s a fight, we don’t condone or tolerate that at all.”

Knight said suspensions always result when there’s a fight at one of the schools, but he would not say how many students involved were suspended.

“Any time a suspension occurs at school, there’s due process rights for children and families,” Knight said. “There will be a suspension hearing if parents want to find out more, so that takes a while for that process to play out.”

Medina resident Mark Kuhar, who started the Outrage page, sent board members an email asking the school to publicize information about the incident.

Comments on the page said one of the students was standing up to someone who had been making fun of a special needs student when the fight started.

School board President Karla Robinson responded to the email, writing: “The rumors about bullying as it relates to this situation are untrue. We do not make information about student discipline issues public, due to the federal law FERPA that protects student privacy. We do not take public input on student discipline issues, as the public is not informed to the full extent of the information on the incident.”

She added, “We cannot control the social media environment. Students will send what messages they will, as will parents. But most of the information that is being disseminated is completely untrue, exaggerated, or inaccurate.”

Robinson said she preferred to not comment further, saying comments on the incident should be handled by high school Principal Bryan Farson and Knight, who both deal with day-to-day administrative issues.

“We have investigated the situation, and consequences have been dealt with,” Farson said.

He urged students and parents to report any concerns about bullying.

“In any situation, the staff is always available, and we encourage them to report anytime a situation occurs,” Farson said.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.

  • OhioGuy10

    The Outrage Page is really getting a little old. While Inagree Stepp deserves everything he gets and I too believe two Board Membersnneed to Stepp down as well there is a difference in being involved andnnitpicking and jumping on every rumor you think might be out there. This was anfight among children and because everyone and their Uncle have a juicy bit ofngossip (Yes, that is what it is) you feel the need for and demanded answers ofna ongoing school investigation. Yes, there was a fight, yes, they areninvestigating. That is all the public really needs to know. In wake of SandynHook and other tragedies we have developed a tendency to hover around our kidsnand become a part of their social life as well as family life. Sometimes we getnin to deep and we revert back to those days where it bothers us that u201cso and sonbroke up with her and OMG can you believe he said that to her.u201d Let the kids learn from their own mistakes andngrow up. If they cannot handle seeing what is termed a u201csmall fightu201d by thenpolice department as a 16 year old how do you expect them to handle college andnbigger issues as a 19 year old? Bullyingnis wrong, and I hope schools do all they can to stop it, but kids need to learnnto stand up for themselves. Zero tolerancenis the way it has to be. If a kid is suspended for sticking up for someone elsenI would hope the board would take that into consideration at the hearing. Ifnthey donu2019t, then do not elect them. The entire mess in Medina comes back toncivic duty. When you elect someone, you hold them accountable and do notnre-elect them if they do a bad job. One would hope they police themselves andnunderstand when their presence hinders the overall process. nnBack to some of the people on the outrage page, Paranoia will destroy ya. Live your own lives and point that bright light of perception on yourselves for a change.

  • Big Dog

    Okay Randy.

  • Si

    How is this news worthy? nThere are fights at schools, there are people there to handle it, that is why we have teachers and admin. nReporting on it only fuels the fire.

  • Si

    The fight was at the HSnThe board members and the super. should be saying no comment contact your HS principal.

  • Wake up Medina

    Hey, the school board is so transparent. For the publics and taxpayers information, there were two fights at the high school this week. Gee, why didn’t they speak about the first one. Of course Knight, Vlcek and Robinson will blame it on the levy, and not the real reason there are so many fights at the schools. Way to go Superintendent and Board, maybe you should be singing Kung Foo Fighting instead of nursery rhymes.

  • Traci Rydbom Monroe

    Did the other fight result in police being called and a student being arrested?n