Wednesday , June 19 2024

Atwater High School Rivalry Video Shows Students Shot with Fake Gun

A video made in honor of “rivalry week” at an Atwater high school, crosses a controversial line.  The video, which was posted on YouTube, starts with Buhach Colony High School officials pretending to fight with Atwater High students, and it ends with campus security shooting those students with a toy gun.

Even though what happened in the video was fake, some say it was made in poor taste. People who say it makes light of real-life tragedies that involve school shootings; tragedies that are happening far too often.  They say school officials should know better.

The video starts out lighthearted and fun.  It was Buhach Colony High School’s way of celebrating rivalry week against Atwater High.  Buhach school officials, including principal Steven Hobbs, dressed as superheroes and take on rival Atwater High students (played by Buhach students).

The rivals continue to battle it out, throwing  play punches and jabs.  Then, campus security officer Kathy Cometta pulls out a fake gun and pretends to shoot students.  The sounds of a machine gun are edited in and as students are hit, they fall to the ground.

Atwater PD Lt. Sammy Josh says, “When Chief Pietro and I were informed of this and we watched it, we were in complete shock.”

Lt. Joseph says the department is disappointed in school officials for displaying such poor judgment.

“Members of our country and the schools have experienced these types of tragedies in the past and we don’t want this to happen in Merced County or anywhere else, and promoting this is not a good thing.” says Lt. Joseph.

The video was posted on YouTube by Buhach Colony’s activities director.  It was also played at school during a morning announcement last Monday.  One parent, who didn’t want to be identified, says it’s completely inappropriate.

“It’s basically saying it’s okay for them to shoot.”

Merced Union High School District officials admit a bad decision was made, saying even though the intent was all in good clean, fun- the video lacked sensitivity.
   
Assistant Superintendent Stacy McAfee says, “The principal apologized immediately.  He’s a huge supporter of kids.  He certainly doesn’t endorse violence on campus.”

McAfee would not discuss if any disciplinary action was taken against any staff or personnel involved in the video, but she did say they are all still working.

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