Thousands have watched the Dean College fight on various sites, including YouTube.
Nine students were expelled from a small private college in Massachusetts after they were seen in a viral internet video that showed a student assaulting a fellow student in a dispute over shoes. Even students who observed the beating were dismissed.
The video, posted to several websites Dec. 2, shows students at Dean College in Franklin, Mass., following a student down a sidewalk until he is approached and punched repeatedly.
The victim, woozy and bloodied after a flurry of blows to the face, then has his shoes ripped off his feet. The perpetrator beats the victim over the head with the shoes, then walks away while others laugh and cheer.
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The incident happened outside a Dean College administrative building. The victim received medical attention and was released.
The perpetrator was expelled from the college immediately, and after campus officials examined the video and identified others who did not help the victim, they were dismissed too, Dean College President Paula Rooney said in a statement.
“Dean College has a zero tolerance policy for conduct that is detrimental to the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff,” Rooney said. “The actions we have taken underscore the seriousness with which we view this responsibility.”
A handful of students spoke directly to the camera used to film the on-campus fight after the perpetrator walks away with the stolen shoes, which he believes to be his. The person who posted the video to the web said the attacker had been missing a pair of shoes for two weeks.
Dean officials said the college received calls from students who witnessed the assault shortly after the fight was taped.
Rooney said the expelled students committed clear violations of the campus’s student conduct and community standards, which say the school will “take action against students whose behavior, either on or off-campus, blemishes the College’s general image or reputation or otherwise evidences disregard for the safety, well-being or rights of others.”
“I know that we are all deeply saddened by what has transpired,” Rooney said. “Our responsibility as a community is to hold all of us responsible for our own behavior and to be certain we are behaving in a manner that is in keeping with earning the right to be a member of the Dean College community.”
In April, two public altercations involving former and current University of Maine football players were caught on camera and posted to YouTube.
The videos show student athletes shoving and yelling at others on a dance floor in a local pub. No disciplinary action was taken against students caught on tape.