As school let out at University City High School my colleague with the camera and I waited across the street to ask students if they'd seen the Belleville bus beating video. I'd say of the approximately 10 kids I approached, 5 had seen it. We also went by Clayton High School and stood across the from the school as kids got out. One parent whose daughter hadn't seen the video showed it to her on his phone and then she gave us her thoughts.
My goal was to get reaction from high schools students of different races and different genders and different backgrounds. You're about to read some of the quotes we got.
What I took away from my short visits near these campuses is a significant societal difference even though the campuses are just a few miles apart. While some of the University City kids were sympathetic to the kid who got beat up, most didn't seem to think it was that big of a deal. Just something that happens at school.
Outside Clayton High the few kids we talked to couldn't imagine something like that happening on one of their buses and if there was such a fight, someone would have done something.
Here now are the kids comments followed by their genders, races and what school they go to.
"A girl (in the video) was like surprised but then she just started laughing after that. She didn't do anything. I thought she was maybe going to try to stop it." (young woman, white, Clayton)
"If I was on that bus I would have called the police or tried to stop them myself." (young man, black, University City)
"I've ridden the bus before and I've never seen anything like that, but I would have been really scared." (young woman, Asian, Clayton)
"I mean it's bad that it happens but I guess that's just a part of school."(young woman, black, University City)
"If it happened at our school on our bus, I've never taken the bus, but I've never heard of anything happening like that but I think if it were to, there would be more than half the people that would be stopping it and I think there would be no one to contribute to it." (young woman, white, Clayton)
"It was wrong but it was wrong on the other kid's part because he didn't ask to be sitting he just moved his book bag out and he might have had something valuable in there and didn't want him to move it so on both ends it was wrong so I don't know." (young man, black, University City)