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Helpless: A teacher at a Florida high school is caught on camera as she unsuccessfully tries to stop two girls from fighting in her classroom. At one point she became a barricade between the girls
A shocking video shows a teacher helplessly stuck in the middle of a classroom fight - with no one coming to her aid.
The footage, recorded by a teenage boy in the class at Gibbs High School in St Petersburg, Florida, shows two young girls exchanging a war of words with their classmates egging them on.
The female teacher initially stands between the girls, trying to get them to calm down, but then the students start lashing out at each other - and she can do nothing but stand back and watch.
Other students clear tables to make way for the fight, while they encourage the girls to scrap.
The fighting students can be seen pulling each other's hair, slapping each other's faces and dragging each other across the floor in the four-minute footage.
The teacher can do nothing but abandon any effort to continue teaching the class.
At some point, she called for help, but it is not clear when, Pinellas County Schools spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra told the Tampa bay Times.
A campus monitor, two administrators and another teacher responded to the fight, Parra said. On the video, a group can be seen pulling the two girls apart.
She would not reveal the grade or name of the teacher because it could identify the students.
St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz told the Times that officers were not called to the scene.
Out of control: She can be seen left at the corner of the frame as she gets between the girls - but they push past her, with one girl grabbing the other's hair, right
Violent: She drags the girl to the ground by her hair as a classmate films the vicious fight
At a loss: The teacher stands by, right, and tries to tell students to calm down while the fight continues
'The (school resource officer) wasn't aware of this until well after it was over,' he said. 'It is our understanding that the school is handling it internally.'
The video of the fight was posted on Facebook and later removed - but it continued to circulate.
The student who filmed the fight, as well as the two students involved, are now both facing punishment, which could be anywhere between suspension, school reassignment and expulsion.
Board members said that Gibbs High has struggled with a poor reputation due to the number of fights on campus, and said they feared that this incident would only worsen that belief.
'I am extremely hurt because we have really been making strides and Gibbs itself has been making strides,' board member Rene Flowers said. 'Now you have this situation that sets it back.'
She added that she was stunned to see the disrespect the students showed the teacher.
Probe: Officials are dealing with the incident internally and the students involved face punishments
Lisa Wheeler-Brown, president of the Council of Neighborhood Associations, agreed.
'Number one, I don't see how this could go on in a classroom - the students could just blatantly disrespect the teacher and the other students who want to learn,' she told the Times.
'It's a sad reality that in too many of our classrooms, teachers spend just as much time trying to keep control as they do teaching.'
Last year, Gibbs High School issued 76 out-of-school suspensions for fighting, the most of any Pinellas high school. It also had the highest rate of suspensions, with 20.5 percent of students suspended for at least one day last year.
But Parra said the number of school arrests had dropped, from 23 this time last year to 13.