FIGHTS at Granger High School have decreased in the past few years. This might be a result of the increase of staff members, including people who are inside and outside of the campus, making sure that Lancers are behaving appropriately. However, a few fights do happen every now and then. As with every story, the dynamics of a fight can became quite complicated. There are many factors administrators need to take into consideration when dealing with student fights.
The administrators want to make it clear that it is a process before they make a final decision on a fight. “When a fight comes into the office, we talk to each party separately in order to hear each side of the story,” Mr. Beck, an assistant principal, said. The school wants each person to feel heard.
Mr. Beck notes that many factors that play into a fight, including social media and the need to give off an image of being tough. “Social media is a key factor in a lot of fights. I feel like most people get what I call ‘Twitter muscles.’ People want to be the toughest person in order to impress others. When a rumor starts going around that ‘so and so said something about you’, their mentality is to call them out online or act tough around them without actually getting to hear their side of the story first,” Beck said.
Since it is hard to pinpoint the exact cause amongst many factors of a fight, the administration has a challenging task in determining who is to blame. “What we do as an administration is see if one side of the party was walking away from the situation or if both people were involved in exchanging words. It’s not a matter of who swung first. It’s a matter of whether or not both were involved in the conflict in one way or another,” Beck said.
Those who have been in a fight have personally gone through this process. Mia Utorov (12) got in a fight after miscommunication turned into an altercation with a person after class. The fight was quickly broken up by staff members standing in the hall between periods. “When the administration talked to me to hear what happened, they really did take the time to hear my side of the story,” Utorov said.
Fighting is something that has changed over the years. With the tech available today, it is easier for students to communicate with one another. Social media plays a part in the fights that happen at schools. From wanting to act tough to wanting to record a fight happening between others, social media has had a negative impact on the mentality of fighting. Some other elements that can play a role with school fights are peer pressure, gangs, and lack of respect for peers.
Fights can also negatively affect the label or image surrounding a school. “How our school is perceived is something very important to me,” Mr. Beck said.
When a fight is posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, a negative impression about Granger is created. The captions surrounding these posts are usually “Only at Granger!” or “Granger back at it again!” Students prioritize personal self-images over the reputation of the school that they attend.