VIDEO: Bakersfield High student stabbed in violent brawl; two students arrested

October 19, 2018 / and

Two students were arrested Friday after a Bakersfield High student was stabbed on campus the day before. The stabbing victim was one of at least four people involved in a violent altercation in a crowded hallway, according to video obtained by South Kern Sol.

The video shows at least three students initially involved in a fight as a crowd of others stood on the sidelines and watched. One student involved in the altercation can be seen holding an object and thrusting it into a student’s body as they scuffled.

The student who sustained a stab wound to his shoulder has since been treated and released from a local hospital, KHSD’s communication office Erin Briscoe-Clarke said Friday morning.

KHSD police were able to identify the participants in the fight. Two BHS students were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a weapon on campus, according to KHSD.

Officers have recovered the knife used in the stabbing.

On Friday, there was extra security and police on campus, Briscoe-Clarke said.

“Student and staff safety is a priority for the Kern High School District,” a Kern High School District official said in a statement Thursday. “The Kern High School District does not condone violence of any kind, and the appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken.”

Some students are trying to remain positive after the incident.

Tate Turner is a senior at Bakersfield High.
BY PAIGE ATKISON

“I try to view [Bakersfield High School] as a positive place, because I think that’s what BHS is,” said Tate Turner, a senior at BHS. “It’s a positive place to learn and a positive environment.”

However, some students are still fearful.

“(The security) doesn’t make me feel any better,” junior Leena Killbrau said.

“I don’t feel safe at all,” BHS senior Melissa Berlanga said. “I wasn’t sure if I’d come to school. What if it happens again?”

“It concerns me because it’s not a random person, it was a student,” Berlanga continued. “It makes me think that anything can happen. A student could bring [a weapon] and hide it in their backpack. Next time it could be a gun.”

Melissa Berlanga is a senior at Bakersfield High.
BY PAIGE ATKISON

Bakersfield High staff has complained to board members in public meetings that fights have become a common occurrence on campus. At least 10 teachers at Kern High School District campuses have been assaulted by students this school year, district officials said in April of 2018, reported The Bakersfield Californian.

“My guess is there’s probably more assaults on teachers than 10,” KHSD trustee Mike Williams told The Californian at the time.

In an op-ed printed by The Californian, Katie Price, a counselor at BHS, wrote about how students are afraid to go to school.

“I received a call from a parent of one of my Bakersfield High School freshmen last week,” she wrote. “’My daughter needs to go on independent studies,’ she said. ‘She hates coming to school. She’s afraid, because there are fights every day on campus and the students are rude to the teachers and the classes are out of control.’ I wasn’t surprised.”

Students say they are skipping days of school because they feel unsafe on campus, according to data released by the district during a community forum in September.

Overall, 10 percent of the district’s students surveyed said this year they skipped school at least once in the last 60 days because they felt unsafe at school or on their way home from school. It represents a three percent increase from the 2016-2017 school year.

RELATED: At KHSD, suspensions down, but students feel more unsafe

Paige Atkison

Paige Atkison is a youth reporter for South Kern Sol. She is the editor in chief at The Renegade Rip at Bakersfield College and has been selected to partake in South Kern Sol's CA 2020: Democracy Media Fellowship.
Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez is the program associate for South Kern Sol. She can be reached at elizabeth@southkernsol.org.