The Student News Site of Liberty High School

The Live Wire

The Student News Site of Liberty High School

The Live Wire

The culture of school fights

As Liberty grows, the school fighting policy needs to grow with it.
School fights have always been a part of adolescence in America.
School fights have always been a part of adolescence in America.

Violence has been a form of entertainment throughout history. From the gladiator fights of the Romans, to wrestling matches today, violence is central to American culture. Beyond these clear public displays, violence is much more subtly ingrained in our modern daily lives. Playful aggression can be a form of expression and even affection seen throughout Liberty halls. However, more concerning examples of daily violence include school fights. 

Fights have always been a part of American public schools. It is difficult for anyone to avoid fights throughout adolescence whether it be through participation or proximity. However, social media has exacerbated the glorification of this behavior far more than it was for previous generations. 

It is interesting that fights even occur at school. Students know that their fighting will be stopped by outside forces if they are on school grounds. If they really want to fight, why would they do it here? Gabrielle Kouri, social studies teacher, believes this is for many reasons.

“I think people are together at school when they wouldn’t be. I also think… it can be a way to release stress, get attention and that they’re really not in control of themselves… I also don’t think kids think they will get in trouble,” reflected Kouri. 

This means that bystander actions have a massive impact. The student body is largely responsible for the culture surrounding school fights. Humans often have a natural fascination with violence. School fights can provide a horrifying window into this instinct for many. Students watch, cheer and even film, which only encourages the fighting and often reinforces the behavior.

“I think we can do a better job of teaching students how to handle [fights] such as that you shouldn’t video it, that you shouldn’t tape it, that you shouldn’t stand around and watch it, that you should not provoke it and encourage it, that you shouldn’t cheer for people,” said Kouri. 

Teachers receive training on how to handle these situations. However, students receive little guidance. It is so common to see videos of fights at other schools within hours that many students don’t even question it. 

“I think [teachers] get pretty good guidance and training. I don’t think students get guidance and training on how they can react… I think our schools and schools in general have a difficult time effectively making rules for how students can and should respond,” said Kouri. 

Liberty, generally, has less school fights than many public schools across the country. However, a few events have brought fights to the front of student discussion this year.

“I don’t think we are as effective as we could be in avoiding [fights] to begin with… I think there are kids that end up in fights that don’t want to,” stated Kouri. 

For a student’s first two offenses, Liberty focuses on restorative measures, trying to get to the root of the problem instead of resorting to more standard punishments, like in Advisory time, which is filled with social/emotional learning lessons. However, there are minimal direct preventative measures taken in regards to school fights and bystander expectations. 

Especially with the additional concerns social media induces, it is incredibly important that students receive more guidance in these areas. The school policies and culture surrounding these issues should include more preventative measures. As Liberty’s legacy grows, hopefully its policies surrounding school fights and student relations will grow with it.

Don't miss our latest posts!

Subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date with the Live Wire's newest content!

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Leela Strand
Leela Strand, Managing Editor
Leela is a senior at Liberty High School. This is her second year on the Live Wire staff. At Liberty, Leela plays tennis and is part of SEA club. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, volunteering, and skiing, among other things.