Principal caught on camera restraining teen in fight, picture goes viral

This picture of a principal restraining a teen in a fight went viral in California. Image via CNN.

A dozen high school students in California are suspended after an on-campus fight. But it's a photo snapped during the melee that's taken on a life of it's own online.

The photo shows Principal Todd Whitmire restraining a 15-year-old female student during the fight last Friday afternoon. The picture was posted online and quickly went viral.

Principal Whitmire says the photo was taken during the fight but it's not accurate to the events that happened.

"It certainly is not a description of what actually happened," Whitemire said. "I think the disappointing aspect of it is the comments that associate the postings, ranging from racist comments to derogatory comments."

Students who shared the photo online and added demeaning comments or captions were suspended by the principal, 10 in all. He says their actions amount to cyberbullying. But students disagree, saying they're exercising freedom of speech.

"We post what we want and they should not get involved with what we post. If it's hurting them probably yeah but I don't think it was right to suspend them."

Ashley Johnson is the girl in the photo. She said her neck was injured when the principal intervened. She also said she wasn't fighting him back and was lying on the ground.

Whitmire says he restrained her because she refused to stop fighting.

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