Fayetteville student 'roughed up' while recording fight

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Student gets punished for videotaping in Cumberland County.

A 15-year-old Fayetteville school student says he was roughed up not for fighting in school, but recording a school fight on his cell phone.

"He grabbed my shirt" said ninth-grader DeAnthonie Taylor. "He swung me on the ground. I told him to get off me, but he would not. He just kept telling me I was not supposed to be videotaping."

The incident happened at Pine Forest High School. DeAnthonie was recording a fight that erupted during a class change. Teachers and school officials rushed in to separate students. DeAnthonie said the school safety coordinator spotted him recording the fight, ran over, grabbed his cell phone and threw him on the floor.

DeAnthonie's mother, Sonya Taylor, said her son was bruised, scratched and has a sprained wrist.

"I understand that teachers have a hard time" Sonya Taylor said. "But at the same time you don't put your hands on someone else's kids."

DeAnthonie denies he started to "square off" with the officer during the confrontation.

"I just wanted him to get off of me" DeAnthonie said. "I just wanted him to leave it alone, it was unnecessary."

Cumberland County school officials say "The Student's Code of Conduct" handbook clearly prohibits unauthorized recordings on school campus.

On page 10 of the book, the rule under "Disruptive Behavior" says "Disruptive behavior includes unauthorized photographing or video recording of student images by a cell phone, digital camera, video recorder or other device on school property."

School-system officials says each student is given the handbook, and their parents or guardians are required to sign a document stating they reviewed the rules.

The Taylors said no one ever told them about the rule.

Sonya Taylor says this is not about her son violating a school rule, but her son being assaulted by a school worker. She doesn't think her son did anything wrong.

"I think videotaping is right," she said. "It might have happened to somebody else, and he witnessed it."

Parents of other students who were punished for recording school fights agree, saying school officials should ask for a copy of the recordings to use as evidence to help pinpoint offenders.

Sonya Taylor says another student used his cellphone to record DeAnthonie's "takedown," but she says that student hasn't been punished.

Dr. Frank Till, Superintendent of Cumberland County Schools refused to comment on the incidents.

Sonya Taylor has filed a criminal complaint with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

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