PLAINS TWP. — A 40-second video of the melee inside the Plains Alternative Learning Center earlier this week shows a faculty member trying to break up the fight and the school’s resource officer being pummeled in the legs.
The video posted on social media appears to have been recorded on a cell phone by a student. It was initially posted on Instagram and then to Facebook, where it was approaching 100 shares as of Friday afternoon.
Plains Township police reported the fight Wednesday involved approximately 30 people. A teacher was injured and was treated at a local hospital, and a township police officer was punched in the jaw by a student.
Seven juveniles were taken into custody, police said, with three observed by reporters being escorted out of the school in handcuffs.
Township police Chief James O’Malley said Friday the Luzerne Intermediate Unit is handling the investigation. The LIU coordinates the school.
More than two dozen law enforcement officers responded to the building on West Carey Street.
The video shows two males getting ready to fight while a group of students surround them in a hallway. Once the two males go at it, they bounce off lockers and a faculty member jumps in to separate those involved and bear-hugs a student from behind while falling to the floor.
A school resource officer attempts to pull students from a pile and is kicked several times in the legs. A girl on the floor appears to get kicked in the head.
The video does not show the township police officer being punched.
The school serves area students who have had trouble performing in a traditional classroom setting.
LIU Executive Director Anthony Grieco and Plains program director Ron Musto did not return messages for comment Friday.
Earlier this year, David Royster, 18, a student at the school, was charged by LIU police after a female student alleged he molested her in a hallway. She claimed Royster shoved her to a hallway corner, placed his hand over her mouth, and molested her while saying he wanted her to have his babies, according to a criminal complaint.
After the alleged assault, she claimed Royster and his friends threatened her.
Royster faces two counts of indecent assault and one count each of intimidation of a witness or victim and corruption of minors.