Among open enrollment schools in New Orleans, Eleanor McMain stands out as an academic bright spot, sporting a 90 percent graduation rate and a B state ranking.

That’s why recent videos of at least five fights between students were so alarming to Principal Bridgette Frick. The altercations, all recorded on school grounds, included both girls and boys going at it, hallway scuffles and another fight in a bus line. And all of the videos showed multiple students huddled around the combatants, phone cameras recording the action from all angles.

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“When I saw the videos, I could not believe it had actually occurred,” she said. “It was surprising to me. It was shocking to me. It was hurting. All of those things, because that’s not what we practice every day.”

Just as troubling was how the videos came to light, Frick said: through Instagram and Twitter accounts shared by students who attend the school as well as other students throughout the city.

McMain, on South Claiborne Avenue, serves students from 7th through 12th grade. It is one of just six remaining traditional schools in a city where almost every other campus is run as an independent charter school.

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