RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – Ridgewood's schools chief on Friday called it "disappointing" that other students recorded the "unnecessary and unacceptable" beating of a student who came to the defense of a cyberbullying victim.
“It is highly unfortunate that the incident -- which happened after school hours on district property -- resulted in unnecessary and unacceptable violence," Schools Supt. Daniel Fishbein wrote in a message to the school community.
"It is also disappointing that other students were present who videoed the incident rather than attempted to intervene in order to prevent physical harm,” the superintendent added.
School officials will use the posting on Snapchat last weekend of the assault at Stevens Field “to address ‘witness’ behavior as a school community,” Fishbein added.
Details will “remain confidential” because it involves minors, he said.
Fishbein emphasized, however, that anyone found to be involved will be “held accountable in an appropriate way, including possible legal proceedings, school discipline and/or counseling.”
“The safety, protection and privacy of our students is a top priority," the superintendent added.
Ridgewood Police Chief Jacqueline Lutchke confirmed Friday that authorities were investigating.
A woman who identified herself as an aunt of the boy who was hospitalized wrote on Facebook that her nephew stood up for a girl who was being harassed after photographs of her were passed around on social media.
He, in turn, was bullied and harassed on social media before being “knocked out,” she wrote.
“His skull is fractured and his face is broken so severely he needs to have reconstruction surgery when the swelling goes down, and he is in jeopardy of losing the sight in one of his eyes," she wrote.
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