Unfortunately, many schools experience fights. They can occur randomly during the day, during any period, to anyone. Not many people are ready for one to happen, but some people are sort of expecting fights to happen to them.
Recently, I’ve had the privilege to speak with some of the students and teachers who had been in fights before, whether it was in high school or in a lower grade. They shared their stories with me and what happened afterwards. I also asked them a few follow up questions about violence in general and how we could help quell it.
The first question I asked these students is if they had ever been in a fight before and if they had felt good about it at anytime before, during, or after the altercation.
Out of the 13 people who responded, nine people had been in a fight. “I got into a fight in 5th grade, it felt good to defend myself and my friends from bullies,” said a student at LRHS who wished to remain anonymous. If your friends are getting harassed constantly, it might do the trick to step in and do something about it when words aren’t enough. “In 6th grade, I was about 12 years old. Even though it was broken up and there wasn’t a true winner, sometimes I feel good about it and sometimes I think about what would happen if it wasn’t broken up,” said Matthew Wiener, a senior at LRHS.
Sometimes, there’s no telling what may have happened if a certain fight hadn’t been broken up. “I have been in a fight before at the age of 14. At the end of the fight, I felt fine, but I knew that I was going to win by the size of the kid and I had seen him fight before and I know it was for a good cause because one of the kids in my class wanted to do some stuff with my younger sister. And that was not going to happen,” said a student who wishes to remain anonymous at LRHS. When a sibling is threatened, some people just want revenge, and that may be the one contributing factor to a fight.
The second question that I asked was how the individual thought about violence.
Out of 14 people asked, all of them answered that they didn’t like to use it often, but sometimes it was necessary. “Violence shouldn’t be a go to answer for anything, but sometimes we need to send a certain message,” said Matthew Simonson, a freshman at LRHS.
If someone only listens to physical responses instead of verbal responses, then only on rare occasions it might be useful to send that kind of message. “Violence is good if it is justified and if it helps prevent further harm,” said a student who wishes to remain anonymous.
Violence should never be used as a fun emotion, but rather something that prevents others from getting hurt.
The third question I asked was if the student/staff had ever seen a fight and if they had broken it up or just stood and cheered along. Out of the 13 people that responded to this question, three people said that they have broken up fights in the past. Others either just keep walking or look online for a video later.
“I’ve broken up fights twice, and sometimes I watch fights happen because I was too scared to break it up,” said Haistyn McLemore, a sophomore at LRHS.
Some fights can spiral out of control, and it can be scary to try to step in and break it up. “I have seen fights, but there’s not much I could’ve done because within a few seconds it would get broken up by staff and administrators,” said Luke Hesla, a senior at LRHS. You can almost always count on the staff at LRHS to break up fights when they see them happen.
The fourth question I asked was if the student asked enjoyed combat sports such as wrestling and MMA. Out of 14 people interviewed, nine people said that they enjoyed combat-oriented sports. “I love combat sports, I’ve also been practicing martial arts for 12 years,” said Jake Polansky, a senior at LRHS. If you’ve been practicing for a while, it’s good to get some tips and tricks from the pros on TV.
“If both sides find it fun and a relief of stress, them more power to them. As long as it’s consensual,” said Violet Thornton, a senior at LRHS. When someone does a sport voluntarily, they have signed all of the waivers to perform in it, and are usually safe while doing their thing.
The fifth question I asked was how they thought that we could stop violence. Eight people responded, and all of them had mostly different answers. “For one, teachers could stop turning their backs on ‘troubled kids’ and give more incentive to not beat people up,” said Luke Hesla, a senior at LRHS. I personally liked this comment, because it outlines not just what anyone could do, but that maybe teachers could help out with and step in to give people who seem troubled some assistance with their mental and emotional health.
“I believe we can reduce the amount of violence by having the right people in power to make laws and regulations like gun control. But there will always be violence, it’s not something that we can stop, but we can reduce how often it happens,” said Matthew Simonson, a freshman at LRHS.
No matter your opinions on gun control and regulations like that, it would be useful to have some regulations on that so we can at least reduce the amount of deaths that come from that area.
The final question I asked was how quick the individual was to accuse people. Out of the ten people who responded, six people said that they were pretty fast to jump to conclusions, but it always depends on the context. “I mean it depends on the situation at hand, if there are facts to prove they are guilty then I will accuse them, if it’s rumors I try to find more information before jumping to conclusions,” said Simonson, freshman. I liked this comment because he listed context, if it was solid information, he will confront them as soon as possible, but he will take things slower if it’s just a rumor.
“I jump to conclusions pretty quickly, but I never start anything unless I know for sure that they really did something,” said Illiana Bailey, a sophomore at LRHS. Again, context is always needed for someone to accuse someone, but many people are usually quick to jump to conclusions.
Violence is something that will never go away. Someone will almost always have beef with someone else and that may never change. But the least we can do is try to slow down violence and fights by putting a few regulations on certain things and have students and teachers keep the peace in their hallways at school. Everyone can do something or another to help quell violence.