School violence in the U.S. is increasing at a rapid rate


   The amount of fights in American schools is not coming to a stop anytime soon.

   An article by Laura Meckler and Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post stated that a Pennsylvania high school reverted back to virtual classes this year, but it was not because of fears of COVID-19. It was caused by the fear of “credible threats” after student fights.

   This has not been the only school to fall back into virtual learning due to violence since the COVID stay at home order back in 2019. Hundreds of high schools throughout the U.S. have stopped in person education opportunities altogether. 

   “People lost like two, three years in school, and in middle school is where you start going through puberty and learn to sort of regulate those emotions, so a lot of high schoolers missed out on that because of covid,” said Ms. Kelsey Robertson, English teacher. 

   Whereas some GHS students found virtual learning easier, most missed the social aspect of taking in-person classes.

   “I definitely don’t want to go back to virtual learning. It was so boring and I didn’t really learn anything,” said Lincolon Boyd, sophomore.

   The main reason for the decrease in in-person learning, aside from fears of the pandemic, is the fear from parents, students, and faculty that any student could come to school with the intention to hurt another person.

   Some believe that the pandemic’s effect is to blame for the increase in high school conflict. This is because the isolation had a dramatic effect on the students mental health, causing a lot more students to lash out.

   “I think a lot of people have lost their tempers more easily since the pandemic started,” said Evangeline Benson, senior. “And I think that’s why people are fighting more.”

   A few other contributing factors to the amount of high school fights could include miscommunication, people having a disagreement over someone they share feelings for, cheating, rumors being started and spread, students wanting to maintain a reputation, along with similar issues.

   “People either fight because they don’t agree about something, or someone gets up one day and decides to be a bully,” said Jasper Howe, junior.

   Many students think that the fights are just another routine thing that happens, and they don’t really know what to do when they witness a fight, so most just see it as entertainment.

   Some think that starting a fight could make themselves more popular, or help them to maintain a strong reputation. Many kids who witness fights won’t go and get someone to break it up. They tend to just watch, or even film the fight, and then proceed to share it with others. This is how a freshman at Guilford could hear about a fight between two juniors at Hononegah ten minutes after it happened.

   “It doesn’t take very much to know about something happening at another school,” said Kristina Graham, sophomore.

   Even before the pandemic, fights were periodically happening in high school, and on occasion in middle school. More and more middle school fights occur every year.

   Private schools tend to have fewer students, which usually minimizes the amount of fights, whereas public schools have more students, which leads to a larger amount of more complex issues between individuals, causing more fights.

   “I went to a private middle school, and there were rarely any fights there,” said Benson. “But then again that was middle school.”

   Going to a private school, with anywhere from ten to a few hundred people in your grade, you will most likely not experience a fight during the school year. Going to a public school, with hundreds, maybe thousands of students in your grade, you can definitely expect to experience some fights during the school year.

   The increase in violence has already had a large impact on students’ academic progress, and has caused more disruption and unfocused classroom behavior.

   One way that schools and administrators can help stop the progression of school violence is by monitoring common areas throughout the school. This could include parking lots, hallways, cafeterias, and playing fields. Another is by implementing school resource officers, security guards, or local police partnerships. Using security systems and providing preparedness training to all staff members are some more effective ways to ensure kids’ safety and minimize violence.

    “I don’t think anything has been the same since the pandemic,” said Boyd.