Attack on Teen at Md. Football Game Replayed on Facebook

By Jenna Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 2, 2009

First, there was a fight during the third quarter of a high school football game in Silver Spring: Two teenage girls came barreling toward the pom squad leader, pushing her to the ground and hitting and kicking her, yelling something about a boy.

Within hours, a dark and blurry video of Friday night's fight was posted on Facebook, soliciting line after line of "LOL" and "hahaha" comments. The attack was first reported by WJLA (Channel 7), which aired parts of the video.

On Wednesday, Montgomery County police charged the two teens with second-degree assault, said police spokeswoman Lucille Baur. The girls are 16 and 17 and have been charged as juveniles.

That same day, the 17-year-old victim returned to classes at John F. Kennedy High School, shaken and worried that her classmates would make fun of her.

"People always think you did something wrong, even when you are the victim," said her mother, Cardelia Maupin.

Now officials at Kennedy High are trying to figure out who posted the video, which is no longer on Facebook, and are reviewing security procedures for home football games. On Thursday night, Principal Thomas Anderson hosted a meeting for parents at the school.

Anderson said this was the first time in at least a decade that there was a fight during a football game. The night of the fight, Kennedy High was playing Wheaton High at home, and the stadium was adequately staffed with school administrators, teachers and police officers, he said.

"Unfortunately, this is one of those situations that took on a life of its own very quickly," he said. "These situations come up. We are not in crisis mode."

In 2005, a 15-year-old girl from Rockville was fatally stabbed in the parking lot at James Hubert Blake High School in northeastern Montgomery County after a Friday night football game. Two weeks later, a 17-year-old girl was wounded in a shooting during a football game between Annapolis and Old Mill high schools in Anne Arundel County.

The exact cause of Friday's fight probably won't be pinpointed until a mediation session at the school, Maupin said, but a boy appears to be at the core of it.

Maupin usually attends the football games to watch her daughter perform with the pom squad, but she skipped this one because "you know teenagers -- they are so embarrassed by their parents. She asked me not to go." Then came a panicked call from her daughter about 8:30 p.m., saying a group of girls was trying to hurt her.

Maupin rushed to the stadium. The fight had ended when adults intervened, but her daughter had a swollen face and a knot on her head and was complaining of a headache, she said. Hospital exams showed no internal injuries.

They decided to go to bed, thinking that things would be better in the morning. But early Saturday, her daughter got a call from a friend telling her to check Facebook.

Maupin watched the video in horror: Two girls aggressively striding toward her daughter, confusion in the crowd as the fight moves to the ground.

"It's this horrible vision in my head," Maupin said. "Where were the people who could have helped her?"

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