Less fighting, more cyber issues in school today

Seth Caines, Staff Reporter

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Throughout the last few years, Lake Park High School seems to have been dealing with less fighting at school.

Though the amount of physical fighting has decreased at Lake Park, the amount of social media threats and rumors spread via social media seems to have increased.

Overall, fighting in school has decreased in America, as has other irresponsible behaviors like smoking, drinking and cutting class.

While these problems are not solved by any stretch of the imagination, recent studies have pointed out that today’s youth are better behaved than previous generations.

But today’s online culture comes with its own set of challenges that now have to be dealt with.

“The majority of the reason physical altercations would come about is because of Rumors through social media. It only takes one person to spread false information about another person leading to a conflict erupting.” said Dan Batka, Student Dean at West Campus. “All the students are so well connected through social media, that people can learn information about others in mere minutes.”

Though there seems to be many social media threats, the school has a good way of tracking down these threats and trying to reach out to help the students who are feeling angered. Students have also started to come to the deans and counselors more for help.

Batka said, “The amount of physical altercations have decreased due to the students utilizing the resources around them, they have utilized deans, social workers, and counselors to help them through physical and emotional problems that they are facing.”

The influx in school intervention is due to the termination of the zero tolerance policy. This policy states that students were immediately expelled if they got in a fight and were transferred to a different school.

But after multiple studies showed problems withi this policy, mostly concerning the disproportionate targeting of minority students in such policies, several states decided to take another approach.
Illinois enacted a law discontinuing the zero-tolerance policy and in return they would supplement it with more of an intervention type approach.

This new approach has the student deans and counselors try to speak to the students personally to explain to the students the repercussions to fighting.

Batka said, “Everyone makes mistakes. The deans want to help students make better choices through interventions and reaching out to students to help them.”

In the end the repercussions to fighting on school property can lead to 3 day out of school suspension, and an in school intervention with the counselors.

It can also lead to court cases and lawsuits because of battery charges on public property. The school tries to reiterate to the students that physical altercations during school is frowned upon and can lead to dire consequences.

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Less fighting, more cyber issues in school today