3 girls charged in school beating

Teacher calls school a zoo
March 11, 2009 9:07:59 PM PDT
Three high school sophomores were charged in connection with a fight posted on YouTube.The girls are accused of beating a fellow student.

All three of the teenagers who have been charged attend school at Proviso East High School in Maywood.

On Wednesday night, ABC7 talked to a Proviso East High School teacher, someone who has an inside look everyday. He talked to us, hoping his voice would help improve the safety and security at the school.

It's a vicious attack, all caught on camera inside Proviso East High School on February 19. The victim was kicked and beaten so badly she ended up in the hospital.

Even more disturbing, perhaps, is what we've heard from one teacher who does not want to be identified.

A Proviso East teacher is stepping forward, saying the environment is so bad the teachers call it a zoo.

"It's not Proviso East. It's Provi-zoo East because the children seemingly are very out of control and very disrespectful," said the teacher.

The teacher says he wants to keep his identity secret because he's afraid he'll get fired since he's speaking out. He says fights like this one are common.

"There were three fights today...this is before the YouTube stuff," he said.

The fight, which has been broadcast on YouTube and watched more than 2,000 times, happened in the school's cafeteria.

"It lasted at least a minute...it took awhile for the security to really see it because of the big crowd," said Sontanisha Thompson, witness.

Three 16-year-old sophomores now face charges, one for filming the fight, and two for allegedly beating the victim.

"This person didn't like the victim. She told her friends and told other people that she was going to beat the other person up that day," said Tom Dart, Cook County sheriff.

The school district has released the following statement: "At Proviso Township High School, District 209, we will always act swiftly to ensure that students face the consequences of their action. The students involved in the fights will be subject to the district's disciplinary process which includes all disciplinary actions up to expulsion.

Students say the victim has returned to school.

As far as the three suspects, the sheriff's office say the student accused of video taping the fight was released to her parents.The other two students are in custody at the Cook County Juvenile Detention center.