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School Fights

Nothing is more frustrating to teachers and other school staff than when a fight occurs on campus. As students flock to the scene of the action, adults are questioning each other about why these young people do not know how to solve conflicts in a more positive manner. With a little logic, a lot of patience, and some good adult advice, most students will come to understand how to approach conflict in a healthy manner.

Teach your students that one such way to solve conflict is for one of the parties to ask for the help of an adult. This is perhaps the wisest way to avoid school fights. If you have a good relationship with your students, you will be able to talk to them on a personal level; which means you can ask them about tension you or other students have noticed between them and someone else. Most fights can be talked through if both parties have a safe place to talk together about their grievances. Usually, they can come to an understanding about future interactions, even if they still have a bit of personal distance. As a mediator, you will be able to give each student a voice, and you can also make suggestions about how the conflict could be resolved. Encourage your students to find at least one teacher they can talk to honestly, even if that turns out not to be you, in particular.

When all else fails with the carrot, use the stick. Make sure that your students understand the consequences for school fights. Many students will be successfully deterred from fighting, at least on campus, when they come to know the severity of the disciplinary actions that follow. While most teachers would hope that other means, such as learning different ways to avoid conflict, some students will only avoid fighting when they realize how damaging the punishment is. It is usually a good idea to spend a few moments of class time at the beginning of the year discussing the school policy for fighting on the campus grounds.

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