A campus supervisor at Valhalla High School in San Diego County is accused of placing his knee on the neck of a student who he restrained during a fight on campus. He is on paid administrative leave while the Grossmont Union High School District investigates the incident.
The fight involved two female students during lunch hour Tuesday, according to the district. In a statement, the district on Thursday acknowledged pictures and video of the altercation were circulating on social media.
"The incident drew the attention of a number of surrounding students and required additional law enforcement support to calm the situation," GUHSD Superintendent Theresa Kemper said in a video message directed to the Valhalla High community.
By Friday, students and community activists were reacting to the images and footage.
"I get you have to break up a fight but it seemed a little violent," student Duncan Galvez said.
Community activist Tasha Williamson said there needs to be more resources and better training to help supervisors understand what may be going on in a young person's life to cause so much rage.
"He was on top of her. The other gentleman wasn't," Williamson said, flanked by community members with signs that said "Shame on Valhalla."
"The other gentlemen picked the [other] girl up and walked her over, calmly talked to her she calmed down. She took deep breaths. This gentleman didn't do that. He stayed on top of her. He didn't let her go. She wanted him off her," she said.
In her address, Kemper also acknowledged community concerns.
"Some students and staff are feeling the effects of what happened on Tuesday in light of the events that have taken place in America over the last two years. It iss completely understandable that members of our school community are upset," she said in part.
Kemper said the district would not comment on specifics of an ongoing investigation, but vowed to be transparent with the district's findings.
"Some students and staff are still feeling the effects of what happened on Tuesday, in light of the events that have taken place in America over the last two years, it’s completely understandable that students and members of our school community are upset," Kemper said.
Valhalla High School is located in San Diego's East County and serves about 2,100 students in grades 9 to 12.
Galves hopes the incident won't lead people to make assumptions about the greater Valhalla high community.
"I understand it wasn't handled well but it doesn't represent the whole school," he said.