Videos of teens fighting are hardly new to the Internet, but a recent high school brawl caught on tape has made headlines around the world because of one member of the cheering audience: one combatant's mom.
"Don't stop. Punch her in the [expletive] body," Palmetto, Fla,. mother April Newcomb is heard yelling to her child during the fight.
The fight, which appeared to be a scheduled event with dozens of student spectators, was recorded by one of dozens of cell phone cameras. After viewing the video, police arrested Newcomb and charged her with child abuse.
Newcomb stated in the police report, "of course we were both wrong and I understand that," apparently referring to her daughter as well as herself. "And I understand where y'all are coming from. I think unfortunately, it was going to happen no matter what," she told police.
Terry Real, a family therapist, told "Good Morning America" that attitude "needs to change."
"Not only did this mother cheer this kid on, but there are about 20, 30 other kids standing there," Real said. "The atmosphere is absolutely medieval. It's like bear baiting for something. It's savage to watch it... What I think we need to understand is there's nothing light or serious about two kids throwing punches at each other like this. It's quite a serious matter."
According to police, Newcomb said she only wanted to be at the fight because her daughter had suffered a head injury previously and wanted to make sure she would not be hit in the head. The mother of the other girl also appears about five minutes into the fight, but rather than intervene, chats with the mother of her daughter's opponent while the girls continue to pound away at each other, The Bradenton Herald reported.
The same day of the Sept. 17 fight, police received not one, but three Youtube videos showing the fight from various angles. The videos have since been taken down.
Mom Released on Bail, Students Back in School
Newcomb has been released on bail and the other girl's mother has not been charged. Both students, who are juniors, are also back in school and reportedly do not face disciplinary measures since the fight took place off campus.
"I think the first order of business is understanding this is dangerous, uncivilized behavior," Real said. "There's nothing to stop somebody from walking away and the first order of business is preventing fights like this. Grown ups should step in and intervene. On the other hand, I also think that this woman should not carry the sins for the whole culture. And we don't need a scapegoat her and throw her in jail."