Why We Fight
Steps To Take To Avoid Fights and Suspensions
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By Brandi Strother
During the past couple of years at Weston Ranch High School there has been a decrease in the amount of on-campus fights between students. According to data collected by Weston Ranch administrators, student suspensions are down 31 percent compared to suspension logged in the 2014-15 academic year. Yet, fight and near-fights still seem to be happening here.
After talking to students who’ve witnessed and engaged in fights on and around campus, some practices seem to reoccur in many conflicts.
So what is the anatomy of a fight?
A typical altercation seems to start off as a small misunderstanding of something posted on social media or a started as a rumor.
The situation soon escalates when one of the students’ friends intervenes and persuades his/her friend to proceed in an altercation with the opposing student. By the next day almost everybody knows about the two students’ possible brawl through via text or social media, which only leads to more students adding their two cents in on why the brawl should transpire.
In the past, students have met up at one of the neighborhood parks or nearby abandon houses to fight out their issues. Before anyone knows it, the administration is there, trying to record or just instigate the situation. But little do all these small-minded students know, they are just as guilty and accountable for the possible scrap as the two students getting into it. They are accomplices.
When the students fight at The Ranch, they are immediately brought into Mr. Smith’s office, our school’s vice principal. The combatants are questioned on what caused the fight and who was involved and or provoked the situation. Usually the brawlers come up with their “story” as to why the fight occurred. In reality, it may have started from a minor misunderstanding further fueled by a bunch of cheering kids. After both students are interrogated they receive referrals which can result in suspension for up to five school days.
All this confusion and unnecessary drama could all be easily avoided and resolved with just a few simple techniques taught by Mrs. Deborah Chavez, our school’s Peer Resource Teacher. In this class, students learn about conflict management and prevention skills. These practices could help or could be the reason why the number of fights and arguments have dropped at our school.
If you or anyone of your friends have been in an altercation that lead into a fight, by using these simple easy steps it could have saved you from the fight itself and also getting suspended from school.
The first step to avoiding a fight is to just simply talk to each other. Find a secluded place that you and the other student can maturely talk out your problems without a crowd. Explain to them how you feel and tell them why you felt a certain way about what was said.
The second step would be to have a mediator involved to hear both sides of the story. This way you can get an open opinion to the problem and not just have someone on either side.
The next step would be to take ownership for what you did or said. Nowadays things get twisted up when its being told to several different people so if you own up to what you said personally then all the other “He Say, She Say” stuff could be ignored.
The last and final step that would need to be taken to avoid a fight would be to talk to an adult. This is when you have done the steps above and you still feel that you want it to escalate into an altercation.
Talking to an adult could give you some reasonable resolutions as to just letting the situation go.
You can just agree to not be friends and not talk to each other. A teacher can tell you an experience they’ve had in the past and the route they took about a specific situation they had and where they ended up. They can give you the possible ways to do the right thing and be the bigger person, but it’s up to you to follow suit.