Local expert reacts to teen beating video - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Local expert reacts to teen beating video

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BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- A local doctor is weighing in on cell phone video of a teenager being beaten.

It was recorded in July at Lake Texoma in Bryan County.

Hanna Martin, 16, was pulled out a pick-up truck by another female, held down, punched repeatedly and kicked.

Martin's mother says the bystanders posted the video online and bragged about it.

Doctor Keri Harvey is the department chair of education and child development at Grayson College. "In what way do they think that's ok?" she said.

Doctor Harvey is not involved in the Martin case but we asked her opinion after viewing the video.

"There's nothing that rationalizes their behavior," Dr. Harvey said. "It's not okay to act that way. It's not okay to treat others that way."

However, Dr. Harvey does not consider what she sees in the video bullying.

"Bullying is actually defined as a behavior that can be repeated over time and is seeking to have an imbalance of power over someone," she said.

But, she says sharing and boasting about it on social media could be considered online bullying.

"That can have long-term emotional impact just as much as the physical bullying can have on someone," she explained.

Doctor Harvey says one reason teens tend to think it's okay to settle their differences through fighting is because the brain isn't fully developed until the mid-20's.

"Between the ages of 13 to 14 to age 20, socially and emotionally children are trying to develop who they are. That's why bullying can be so detrimental during that time," she said.

Bottom line, Dr. Harvey says there is no reason anyone should ever use violence to resolve a problem.

She says the consequences that may result from what happened in the video prove her point. "What they did was wrong," she said.

The main aggressor in the video has been charged as a juvenile with assault.

Martin's mother believes she should face charges as an adult.

The Bryan County District Attorney's Office says they cannot comment because the judge has issued a gag order on parties involved in the case.

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