‘Don’t snitch’: Mum uncovers school fights Instagram
WARNING: This video is graphic and may be upsetting to some.
A DISTURBING social media account broadcasting teenagers fighting in schools has left a Gladstone mum in fear for her children.
Mother-of-four Rachel Dickey discovered a sickening Instagram account on January 2.
The Tannum Sands woman said the page featured several videos of Gladstone region students involved in schoolyard brawls and other bullying.
The account, @qld_fights_69, has been taken down, however another similar account has been set up.
The new account's bio states, "Don't snitch and send fight videos what gets sent gets posted".
Tannum Sands State High School was largely featured on the original page.
"(There were) some disturbing videos of kids in school uniform, in school hours having fights and being abused," Mrs Dickey said.
"There are other Instagram sites that are ready to go, they've set them up so that the moment one is shut down they'll be doing it on another one.
"We've got a big battle on our hands."
Mrs Dickey said she was on a mission to see under-18s taken off the platform.
"We can unite enough people to stand strongly enough to say that they don't need that platform," she said.
"It's destructive, it's disconnecting."
A Department of Education representative said it was aware of recent video footage of Tannum Sands State High School students involved in a physical fight.
"The students in this video have been dealt with in line with the school's Responsible Behaviour Plan," the representative said.
"Tannum Sands SHS also worked with local police and Child Protection and Investigation Unit and they continue to monitor the situation."
The representative said the responsibility for preventing misuse of technology was shared by everyone in the community.
"School staff and students need the support of parents and key influencers, such as those in the media, to combat the insidious effect of such behaviour," they said.
Kenny and Partners legal practitioner director Cassandra Ditchfield said the students involved could face serious charges.
"As for the people recording, if it is an assault they could find themselves in trouble for being a party to that assault," she said.
She said the people operating the accounts could face charges for using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, which had a maximum penalty of three years' imprisonment.
She said during a search warrant police would be allowed to seize any items such as mobile phones, tablets or computers and hold them for a minimum of 28 days.
"That would be more concerning to some of them than … detention," she said.
Ms Ditchfield said most of these teens were at an age when they should understand what they were doing was wrong.
"What they don't seem to understand is the potential consequences," she said.
"They seem to think … the police are never going to charge them and they'll just get a slap on the wrist.
"If it is a serious enough offence children do get detention for their first offence," she said.