Yesterday I wrote about students and technology. Today I saw it’s worst use in a school.
I spend a lot of my days in high school cafeterias interacting with students, teachers, and administrators. This one day, an administrator approached my to give me a heads up their were rumors traveling through the school that third lunch was going to have a big “fight”. The cafeteria was extremely well supervised by administrators, teachers, security guards, and a student resource officer.
About 10 minutes into the lunch shift, I see four male students, in a single file line marching from the southeast corner of the cafeteria to the northwest corner. As they get about half way down that row of table, four male students who were seated in the northwest corner stand up and the cafeteria as a whole explodes as if Mayweather vs McGregor just entered the ring. About 300 of the 400 students in the cafeteria at this time, ran to the northwest corner of the cafeteria to watch the fight. When I say ran I mean ran, by any mean necessary; pushing their peer, jumping across lunch tables, and throwing food. Most of them were less interested in seeing the fight as there were more concerned with getting it on video. A high percentage of students had their phone out, straight up in the air, aiming towards the fight, hoping to get the best shot. From a distance is looked similar to the amount of flashes you’d see in the stand of a superbowl halftime show.
With the large presence of adult, the fight was broken up pretty quickly and eight students were removed by the police. The remaining of student, stayed in the cafeteria to finish their lunch, but there was an elevated level of excitement. This was the greatest thing these students experienced all week at school, and to me that’s sad.
It’s events like this that make me question what the solution is. It seems to easy to say we have a violent culture in America that breeds and feed this desire not only to fight, but to have a front row seat. Changing culture is no easy task, and I don’t think it’s necessary. Violence in movies, music, TV, books, etc. is all fine if you are able to view it on the fact that it’s entertainment. To me it come back to parenting. Be able to teach students impulse control to A. not fight as conflict resolution and B. to teach them it’s not ok to be a supporter of these acts, especially in school.
School at it’s most basic level exist to teach students how to obtain and keep a job for a prosperous life. For a majority of people, being a parent will be the greatest job they will ever have, but no where is parenting taught. How does this make sense???