Caught on camera: Staten Island dad encourages son to fight classmate

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (PIX11) — It’s disturbing, violent, involves children and and now it’s a viral video.

“I heard about it through the school, like it’s been spreading everywhere,” one student at P.S. 60 in Staten Island told PIX11.

Parents on Staten Island have clicked on, viewed and shared an apparent cell phone video. It was recorded two weeks ago, after school in the Bulls Head neighborhood. An adult seems to encourage kids to fight.

Manuel Valdez says the two students in the video are his classmates.

“Well first I was concerned what happened and then I was like wow cause they got into a fight,” said Valdez.

“I knew that kid for a really long time and I didn’t know that his father would do that.”


The Department of Education says the principal of the school is investigating the video.

One  P.S. 60 mom and dad say they want the full story. “We don’t know what’s the background of the parents,” the mother told PIX11.

“If he’s bullying you, I tell my kid all the time you know somebody picks on you, defend yourself,” the dad added.

In a statement, the Department of Education told PIX11, “The principal is investigating the incident and yesterday met with the student and his parent. The student is facing disciplinary action.”

But is that enough? We showed the video to clinical child psychologist Dr. Jeanette Sawyer Cohen.

“It’s hard to watch. I felt myself starting to almost tear up a little bit,” Cohen said.

Dr. Sawyer Cohen believes there’s a lesson to learn after the spread of this footage.

“While different families clearly have different ideas about what it means to become a man and different ideas about respect and self defense, we need to be really careful that were sending the message that conflict can be handled creatively and respectfully.”



  • M.Valentin

    It always amazes me when I read bully stories… This video is the classic example of why & how violence spreads faster then an std. Then when the bully grows up, to know right from wrong the parents want to cry uncle.

  • Richard Diaz

    I disagree with the Psychologist, there is a point in time when I believe that every child should learn how to defend themselves from conflicts, and from violent aggressors who mean to cause them harm. As a child growing up there are so many new things that are introduce to that child good and bad. They have to learn how to confront and deal with what they are facing so that they may have a good positive outcome, and or survive the situation with confidence and self respect. All that other nonsense of "OH LETS SIT AND TALK ABOUT IT, LET US RESOLVE OUR DIFFERENCES." Come on let us be realistic, that scenario I just typed in capitol letters is never done by any child, and most of the time when the child turn's to one of the school staff (Adults) asking for help from being bullied nothing is done to help them. Also the unfortunate fact is that in order for that child who is being bullied around must take action against the bully before that child loses his standing and respect within the social order and standard's of the other children. Children are taught early from school that they must compete against other in order to co-exist within this society. I think that schools should teach each child mandatory self defense courses every year starting from the first grade until the fifth grade level, and how to deal with conflicts. This should help to boost the confidence, motivation, and I believe strengthen's and instill's positive moral's of each child.

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