Blood drips from the teenage boy’s brow. But he doesn’t grimace. He’s smiling.
“You’ve got a nice little doozer,” says one of a dozen onlookers. “You got caught there.”
The teen in question is slugging it out with a rival in the Watson Lake skate park. Their fight was recorded on a cellphone, then uploaded to YouTube.
So far, the video in question has received 263 views. Another fight, also filmed in Watson Lake, has been watched 2,454 times.
It’s a troubling sign for the Liberals’ Don Inverarity, who has found five videos of Yukon youth fighting.
“These are not spontaneous scuffles. These are not schoolyard fights. This is about organized violence for the purpose of entertainment,” he told the legislature on Wednesday. “These fights are being conducted to draw maximum attention. That means showmanship and violence.
“These children are not fighting to settle a score; they’re fighting for 15 minutes of fame.”
What, he asked Justice Minister Marian Horne, is the government doing about it?
Education Minister Patrick Rouble responded. “If he sees things like this,” he said, “don’t wait until Question Period to put a stop to it. Take a stand and bring an end to this immediately.”
Later, Rouble vowed that both Education and Justice officials would look into the matter.
A Liberal caucus member saw a fight at Vanier Catholic Secondary School one evening about two weeks ago, Inverarity told the News. “It was more validation that it’s still happening.”
Older kids may be pressuring younger ones into these fights, said Inverarity. While no serious injuries are evident from the videos, a concussion could result in permanent damage that “may not show up for weeks.”
Government should play a role in raising awareness about the issue, said Inverarity. “Parents need to talk to their children about this,” he said.
“Some day, somebody is going to die. Some of the fights, they’re brutal.”