A GROUP of 70 people cheered on a fight between two schoolchildren – which ended with one youngster being rushed to hospital.
Many people in the crowd are understood to have filmed the fight on their mobile phones. Most spectators were youths.
It is understood footage of the incident – which took place near Firrhill High – was uploaded to YouTube. It has since been taken down.
The fight ended after a 13-year-old participant was allegedly badly beaten.
He is said to have had his head stamped on – fracturing his cheek – and was left needing hospital treatment.
Last night, local ward politician Councillor Gavin Corbett expressed shock at the incident. The Green member for Fountainbridge and Craiglockhart said: “I am horrified at both the scale of the violence alleged and the fact the event seems to have been pre-arranged to the extent that it was apparently being filmed.
“Thankfully, incidents like this are very rare and I know the school will be giving high priority to working with parents, young people and the police to ensure that it stops right there.”
The fight is now being investigated by police, who confirmed a 15-year-old had been reported to the procurator fiscal and the children’s panel.
Locals said they were shocked by the fight’s brutality and there were warnings that similar incidents take place “at every school” in the city.
Ian Cowie, former chairman of Firrhill High parent council, said he was unsettled by news of the encounter but expressed confidence that staff at the school would clamp down on unruly pupils and prevent other fights from happening.
He said the fight emphasised the need for a strong police presence in and around city schools, adding: “At every school incidents such as this happen, irrespective of the policies that are in place. Boys will be boys. But discipline in the school is pretty ruthless – there’s a very strict regime in place and I have every confidence that it will swing into action and stop something like this from happening again.
“My overall experience of the school, having known it for six or seven years, is that the atmosphere there is fantastic. There’s also a very well established anti-bullying policy.”
Education officers at the city council said they would co-operate with the police. A spokesman – referring to the February 7 Firrhill High incident – said: “We have been liaising with police.”