School apologizes for video that faked shooting

AP News
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Posted: Nov 14, 2014 6:35 PM

ATWATER, Calif. (AP) — A California school district apologized for a video spoof that ended with a security officer pretending to shoot students from a rival high school with a toy gun.

The video shows school administrators at Buhach Colony High School in Atwater, including the principal, dressed in superhero costumes and pretending to kick and punch students at the rival school. It ends with a school security officer pretending to shoot the rival students.

The Merced Union High School District declined comment, but it released a statement Thursday afternoon.

"Merced Union High School district immediately addressed the release of the school rivalry video posted by Buhach Colony and had it removed from the media site. We apologize for the impact the video has had on the community and want to ensure everyone that the district does not support or endorse school violence. The issue is being addressed through the personnel office," the statement says.

The roughly 6-minute video was posted on YouTube.

Principal Steve Hobbs declined to identify the school administrators in the video or say who came up with the idea. Still, he apologized, the Merced Sun-Star (http://bit.ly/1EGeiHx ) reported.

"At no time was there intent to glamorize or endorse school violence," Hobbs told the newspaper. "Would I do it again? Obviously not. I apologize for the impact it had on the community."

Board of Trustees Acting President Dave Honey told the newspaper that simulating a campus shooting was a mistake and showed poor taste, especially considering the number of people nationwide who have died in actual campus attacks

"I was very upset," Honey said. "In this day in age of school shootings, this was totally inappropriate and lacked sensitivity. The video also should have not been posted to the school online site, which has gone nationwide. This was all made worse by the administrators in the video. We have great students at Buhach, Atwater and all our schools. I apologize to all (to whom) this has had an effect."

Johnson told the Sun-Star that the video took the rivalry between the two high schools too far. She suggested that district officials approve any videos that are to be posted to the web.

Atwater High School Principal Alan Peterson said he felt the video spoof got too much attention, especially given all the great things happening in the schools.

Some Atwater students, however, were upset.

"I think Buhach needs to know that what they did was offensive," said student Sebastian Cervantes, 17. "They make it seem like it's cool, and I hope they learn the difference between right and wrong."

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Information from: Merced Sun-Star, http://www.mercedsun-star.com