On March 17, 2010 in Waterbury, Connecticut a fight between two 14 yr old boys from North End Middle School on a school bus resulted in one boy slashing abother boy who started a fight with him. The boy who started the fight received seven stitiches to the face and six stitches to one of his hands.The fight stemmed from a previous dispute. Both boys were arrested and suspended from school. the boy with the box cutter is now placed in an "alternative education setting outside of the public schools. " A girl on the bus was also suspended for trying to hide the box cutter after the fight. (Source: Republican -American newspaper).
Points for Discussion:
- How aware are teachers and school staff (administrators, guidance counselors, security, secretaries, food service staff, etc) of student conflicts? Regardless of how insignificant a conflict between students appears or where it originates (outside of school), it can have an impact in the school environment or school activities.
- Students carry weapons when they are afraid, feel threatened, plan to commit criminal activity, feel the need to imtimidate, mentally unstable, and plan to injure of kill others.
- How comfortable do students feel reporting problems or conflicts to the adults in your school building? This is critical to developing preventive or interventive measures to stop students from hurting one another or themselves.
- Every member of the school staff and teachers needs to actively and openly promote that students need to immediately report threats of or acts of physical altercations, intimidation, bullying, or criminal activity. Countering the child-like or criminal mindset of "Stop Snitching" needs to be addressed as a dysfunctional philosophy which only protects criminals and bullies and has no place in the adult world they hope to join someday. This priming is essential to teaching them to advocate for themself and feel empowered vice be victims.
- Physical Altercations, Weapons, and Bullying (Intimidation) need to be addressed severely to send the message that this will not be tolerated in a school environment, school activities, or society at large.