A possible “flight club” captured on video and posted online has prompted a police investigation in Rutland.
Police would say little, other than to confirm a probe is underway. No serious injuries were reported. Rutland City Police Chief Brian Kilcullen could not be reached for comment.
The video shared on social media shows fist fights, involving boys brawling and girls battling one another.
The fights are believed to have been planned, taking place around 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, on the grounds of Rutland Middle School.
Rutland City Schools Superintendent Mary Moran said she became aware of the video the next day on Monday.
“We learned about it from a community member who had seen it on Facebook,” the superintendent said, adding, “Kids put these things on and they identify themselves.”
School security cameras also captured footage.
“The only reason we knew about it is from the social media business and then we picked it up on our own cameras,” Moran said.
School officials are working with city police and the Rutland County state’s attorney office on the investigation. Attempts to reach Rutland County State’s Attorney Rose Kennedy on Friday afternoon were not successful.
While police are conducting the probe, Moran said school officials have notified parents of participants they could identify from the video.
“We reached out to parents from a counseling point of view and a helping point of view, saying, ‘We’re worried about this, we’re worried about your kids, how can we help,’” Moran said.
About a dozen participants and bystanders could be seen in the video, ranging in age from 13 to 19. Some were from Rutland and are students, and others were from out of town, Moran said.
“It happened to have occurred on a school field. It could have happened at Main Street Park, or Meadow Street Park,” Moran said. “It’s this ‘fight club’ concept that’s happening all over the country. I called superintendents in the Midwest who say this kind thing has been going on for a couple of years.”
Moran added that she was not aware of it happening in the Rutland area before. She did hear that another event had been planned for last weekend, but didn’t believe it actually occurred.
She did offer a message for parents In the community.
“Please let us know, both the police and schools, if they hear of anything, and to talk to their kids to be aware, to discourage them from being involved in this foolishness,” the superintendent said.