Allegheny County

Videos of ‘fight club’ at Allegheny County school being posted to social media, parent claims

BELLEVUE, Pa. — The parent of a student at Northgate Middle/High School tells Channel 11 that there’s a fight club at the school and her son was a victim.

Samantha Guardalabene sent Channel 11 video and snapshots of an Instagram account called “ngsd.fights.” She says her son told her about the account after noticing himself on a video that was posted. Guardalabene says her son told her a group of boys in the school bathroom told him that in order to leave the bathroom, he had to fight his way out.

“He comes up and he says, ‘Mom, they are running an Instagram and they posted the video.’ I was like, what?”

After seeing the video, Guardalabene immediately called the school and within 20 minutes the account was disabled.

Guardalabene showed Channel 11 a letter from Northgate that was sent to parents which reads, in part, “Recently it was brought to our attention that someone has created an Instagram account where videos of students fighting are being posted.”

The letter goes on to say the school is working with law enforcement to determine the source of this social media account. Guardalabene also shared one of the messages on the account which reads, “... send me all your fight videos and send proof of stuff to expose people.”

But after reporting another incident between her son and the same boys, Guardalabene says her son ended up being suspended. She says the children who got caught fighting and harassing him told the principal they thought her son had a gun. Guardalabene says while trying to ignore the boys, her son went into the gymnasium and at one point, reached into his duffel bag for his phone.

“So he reached in and grabbed his phone, and these boys say, ‘What, little (expletive), you got a gun, you got a gun,’ and when they realized how serious it got when somebody overheard the word ‘gun’ they said (her son) he has a gun and he’s going to shoot me.”

Guardalabene says if the school was truly investigating the incident, her son’s case wouldn’t be so simple.

“So she suspended him on Tuesday per an investigation, but the same day sent us a letter basically just saying he was guilty and this is going to possibly lead to further disciplinary action. So she already deemed him guilty from the gate. There was no investigation because they would’ve found this Instagram.”

Channel 11 reached out to Northgate for a comment on this investigation, and whether Guardalabene’s son was getting a fair shake. This was their response:

“The Northgate School District does not tolerate or condone violence in any form. We appreciate that we have a supportive school community that works together to identify potential threats so they can be addressed in an appropriate and timely manner.”