Facebook Fights Become Physical Fights at Bay Area School

An unusual amount of Facebook comments have been escalating into actual fights at one Bay Area high school.

During the first five weeks of school at Oakley's Freedom High, there were nine recorded fights on campus. And at least seven of those fights were started on Facebook, Principal Erik Faulkner told the Contra Costa Times.

One fight began after two girls on Facebook disagreed about hair extensions. Another started after two boys on Facebook argued over Biblical interpretations. One boy needed stitches from his injuries.

Superintendent Eric Volta said he wants students to "go and talk to a teacher, a counselor or assistant principal so that we can squash it before you get suspended or worse."

Freedom has already suspended 15 students for fighting.

The school is also trying to prevent fights with counseling and conflict-resolution sessions. Liberty Union High School District, which includes Freedom and two Brentwood schools, blocks students from using Facebook on school computers. But that doesn't always stop them because they can still get on using cell phones.

A survey by the Cyberbullying Research Center showed that about 27 percent of youth 10 to 18 years old have been mistreated online. There was even a state bill enacted back in July that allows schools to suspend students for picking fights on Facebook and other social networking sites.

"We need to remind students (that) rather than take it into your own hands and having a possible fight, you need to get assistance from an adult," Volta said.

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