WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – As kids head back to school, Washington County Sheriff Keith Sexton is launching an anti-bullying campaign.
It comes as the sheriff describes an uptick in fighting in schools and a trend of students posting videos of those fights on social media platforms, which the sheriff says, “will not be tolerated this year.”
He says every student has a right to attend school in a safe environment, and the department is committed to protecting students from harm.
Sexton says his office is not only cracking down on the students who start the fights but those who film them and post them online.
“That is a form of harassment,” Sexton said. “We will be charging them. We will use the person who posted that video, we will use that video as evidence against them.”
The sheriff calls the posting of those fight videos a ‘growing trend’ and something that encourages more fighting.
The sheriff’s office sent a letter home with all Washington County Schools students to their parents at the start of the school year.
It is a reminder that students who start fights can be charged with disorderly conduct or even assault.
Those who film the fights and post them online can also be charged with harassment and may have their phone confiscated as evidence.
“All students have an expectation and a right to attend school and participate in activities in a safe environment,” the letter sent home to parents reads. “It is our duty as law enforcement to enforce the law, and we are committed to keep all students safe from harm.”