EDITORIAL: Violence at school is never OK

Story by Julia Couch, Karina Hernandez and The Signal Staff, Reporters

On Aug. 26 2021 a student was assaulted in our school’s bathroom. The whole incident was video recorded on cell phones by bystanders. The student had just walked into the bathroom when another student already in the bathroom came up and started to attack him. Students’ social media sites blew up with the spread of the video depicting what had happened. 

Fighting is never OK, but when fighting turns into assault it turns into a bigger problem. Assault is when a person knowingly causes harm or physical injury to another person. According to Cornell Law School, the general legal definition for assault is “intentionally putting another person in reasonable apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact. This behavior should never be tolerated for any reason. Principal Scott Moore believes that if students can’t work well in a school environment then they might not be able to be here with other students. 

The District’s practice (Student Discipline S-170-P) for students who violate the school and/or district’s policies varies from a conference with a principal to out of school suspension for up to 10 days according to Mr. Moore. According to the practice, further action “may result in, yet is not limited to, verbal warning, community service, confiscation of property, principal/student conference, parent contact, loss of credit, grade reduction, course failure, removal from extracurricular activities, revocation of privileges, detention, in- or out of school suspension, expulsion, and report to law enforcement.” In addition, “the Board (of Education) authorizes the immediate removal of a student who poses a threat of harm to others as determined by the principal or Superintendent.” Unfortunately, there are students that choose not to work well with others and are removed from the District entirely.

Another aspect of these incidents The Signal staff observed was how students are video recording these incidents. We as a staff believe that students recording a fight or assault makes them just as at fault as the people fighting unless students show it to the administration or other authorities so they know what happened. People who record and post videos like this to social media for their own benefit are contributing to the problem. Trying to break up a fight can risk your own safety and get you hurt, so it is always a good plan to get an adult to try and help, especially if it is in a bathroom where no one can see what is happening. 

We know that members of the student body were upset about the incident that took place at our school. However, there is no reason for anybody to take action into their own hands. The District administration and law enforcement officials have procedures in place to handle violations of school policies and the laws of our city, county, state and country. Student involvement outside of school can cause more problems and bring legal ramifications to those who violate civil and criminal laws. The Signal staff believes the student body should govern themselves by showing restraint to violent behavior. Together we can make a change as we grow to be more responsible and learn that violence is never the answer in these situations.