Sturgis student attacked in viral video puts spotlight on bullying, social media
STURGIS, S.D. — An assault that took place allegedly between high school students at Sturgis Brown High School has gone viral on the internet and its causing many people to ask what is being done about it. But perhaps the question is what can students and parents do to be more proactive?
Ella Ward says everything seemed fine between her and her friends.
“They called me again and they’re like meet us at the skate park,” said Ella Ward, victim. “And so I met them at the skate park and I even had a bad gut feeling about it. I even asked my friend if this is a set up or something, and they even said we’re your best friends why would you ever think that.”
But then she claims she was attacked and by what she remembers as 20 of her classmates at Sturgis Brown High School.
“People just pull up and they parked behind my car,” said Ella. “My car is right here, on this side and this side, and then someone screamed out, I don’t know who, someone screamed out who wants first hit.”
Ella also says she’s not the only case of bullying among her peers.
Her mother says parents have taken action to stop the bullying.
“We’ve of course formulated a bunch of potential ideas,” said Ursula Ward. “Do I know what could be the best? I don’t. But this does create the initiative because everyone in this world right now is overwhelmed with all different kinds of needs but this needs to be handled I guess or brought to the forefront because this is such a pressing, pressing issue.”
With social media blowing this incident up, the high school resource officer, Benny Page says social media definitely plays a role in the bullying.
“Obviously bullying has been going on for as long as we know,” says Page. “But this does give them an avenue. It makes it easier. A lot of times they’re on there saying stuff they wouldn’t typically say to someone. But also having a cell phone at all times it gives them more opportunities.”
Sturgis Brown principal Pete Wilson says the school is conducting their own investigation as they take situations like this seriously.
At this time, Sturgis Police Department is not able to comment on the investigation.
But police do stress the importance of parents and students having a conversation about bullying.