Chaotic fight at Lee County middle school under investigation

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Students and a teacher at Varsity Lakes Middle School in Lehigh Acres are recorded at the school while a teacher tries to break up a fight between students. Credit: Shared with WINK News.

A chaotic fight broke out on a Southwest Florida middle school campus recently, and video students shared shows it’s happened more than once. What has been happening at this campus has teachers caught in the middle trying to tear kids off each other.

The School District of Lee County says a fight at Varsity Lakes Middle Schools in Lehigh Acres is under investigation, and there could be consequences for the students involved.

Many people have already seen video from Varsity Lakes Middle School, and more will continue to see it. School board member Gwyn Gittens hopes everyone who does see it will also look a little deeper.

“And not just if they come in, they’re mad,” Gittens said. “Find out why they’re mad. It may not be as simple as you think.”

It’s unknown at this time what led to the fight, but we do know students have likely lived in isolation, missed socialization, had to learn online and learn to live through a pandemic.

“The trauma in their families, the trauma in their lives,” Gittens said. “The stress and the time of year for teachers and all of that. It’s just a powder keg.”

That’s what Gittens sees when she sees video of the fight, a visual, visceral reminder she told us that we need more school counselors on top of more security and fewer overcrowded classrooms.

“Times are rough,” Thelbert Thomas said. “It’s frustration that’s boiling up into society that wasn’t that way before the pandemic.”

Thomas sees what Gittens sees.

We showed him the video of a different fight that happened at Varsity Lakes Monday.

“The kids emulate what they see,” Thomas said. “They hear, and they repeat.”

A District spokesperson told us no one was injured in either fight and told us staff members were able to intervene with the large crowd during one of the fights.

Punishments for students involved could range from something as small as being assigned a mentor or something as significant as suspension.

“It’s not a conflict resolution anymore,” Thomas said. “It’s just strictly conflict.”

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