Student fights flood the hallway at McKinley High School

"Much more frustration, much more tempers"
Posted at 4:47 PM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-20 17:32:10-05

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — New cell phone videos show students fighting inside McKinley High School in Buffalo Thursday.

We blurred the videos because the students involved are underage.

One source tells 7 News the huge brawl that erupted inside the school was "like an insurrection" and "students have no fear.”

Andrea Augello, English teacher, and Buffalo Teachers Federation delegate. 

“This is not something that is over yesterday, so as they get a better idea of who's in the video there will be the further consequence. I don't know what those consequences are,” explained Andrea Augello, English teacher, and Buffalo Teachers Federation delegate. 

Augello tells me this kind of behavior is not just happening at McKinley.

“In general we are seeing, in the world, much more frustration, much more tempers, fewer ways of coping with stress and anxiety and angry and with confrontation — I don't think this is special or McKinley,” remarked Augello. 

Student video from McKinley fighting.

But school fighting at McKinley has been reported for years and this outburst comes as the district approaches one year since a shooting and stabbing outside the school.  

Thursday's fights also happened one day after the Buffalo School Board approved removing current Principal Moustafa Khalik, who took over last year, at the board session Wednesday evening.     

“He's visible. He's present. He’s active. He doesn't sort of rule from behind his desk kind of thing,” noted Augello. 

But Augello says the principal was not in the building Thursday when the fighting started.

Andrea Augello, English teacher, and Buffalo Teachers Federation delegate. 

“I think that's a kid reaction — but he was a very stabilizing force because what he said he was going to do he did. He followed through. There was a fair conversation and fair consequence,” commented Augello.

She says 44 out of 46 McKinley teachers say they want him to stay because they believe he's making a difference. 

“The majority of the building has recognized that he was making inroads. He has a passion for the school and the students and was committed to seeing things through and committed to the things he was doing,” reflected Augello.

Security guard tries to break up fight.

The school's Superintendent Tonja Williams and members of her cabinet had a planned meeting at McKinley Friday regarding the change in the principal. 

“What will you be asking the superintendent for?” Buckley questioned. 

“At the bare minimum, we want the end of the year — want to see him here — to see this through,” replied Augello. 

The district issued the following statement Thursday in response to the fights:

“This district was informed of today's incident, and it was taken very seriously. The matter was responded to swiftly and appropriately. Extra support was provided and remained at dismissal to assure that the matter remained de-escalated".      

Buffalo Public School District