Please don't try to break up that fight...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We've seen the topic of student fights here from time to time. My suggestion is and has always been that teachers should never physically intervene in a fight between students. I'm sure there may be rare exceptions where a physical intervention is the right thing to do, and in those cases I would still only recommend shielding a student (not trying to push or pull the aggressor away).

    A few weeks ago there was a fight at my old school. It was between two high school girls--and if you've ever witnessed a girl fight, you know that they can be particularly vicious. An administrator intervened and pulled one girl off the other girl. In the chaos of the situation, he put her onto the ground sort of bodyslam-style and basically sat on her until school police arrived on the scene. This entire event was recorded on another student's cell phone and ended up making the news. The mother of the girl is now suing the school district and claiming that the administrator perpetrated child abuse against the girl and caused her some injuries (which were documented and diagnosed by an ER doctor). The mom said in a news interview that if she had bodyslammed her daughter, she would have had to answer to CPS.

    The administrator was temporarily reassigned to a position where he could have no interactions with students, pending the investigation. It is very likely that he will be terminated at the conclusion of the investigation. He also faces possible criminal charges.

    I know that he didn't intend to hurt anyone. Honestly from what I saw on the video, what he did looked a lot like any other fight I've seen at school. Still, he did end up hurting the girl, even if unintentionally.

    When you get involved in a fight, you run the risk of causing injury or getting injured yourself. The injury itself makes that not really worth it, and there's also the added risk of potentially losing your job. This is just something to keep in mind for the future in case you're considering busting into the middle of a fight. I would encourage you to avoid doing that and find some other way to help during a fight.
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Very good advice.
     
  4. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    You know, it's a shame. Admins get in trouble no matter what. He got in trouble for stopping it. If he didn't stop it, then he'd get in trouble for not doing something about it.

    Double edged sword.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    There is also the possibility of the teacher getting hurt. I know of at least one incident where one of the students in the fight assaulted an administrator.
     
  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  7. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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  8. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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  9. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    It is so rare that there are fewer than 100 cases reported in the medical literature.

    Yes. Let's set standards based on an extremely rare medical condition for which most people will never know someone who has the condition. Most doctors have never met someone with this condition.
     
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  11. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    We have a fair share of fights at our middle and high schools. Reading posts like this makes me nervous about ever being reassigned to an admin role outside of K-6.

    We have 15 VPs at the elementary sites--all are women...except for me. Seems like the higher ups prefer placing men at our middle or high schools.

    Personally, I don't think I could ever walk away from a fight. It's my job to keep kids safe. Allowing them to tear each other apart would not be the right thing to do.
     
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  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Going by the odds, do you think a student is more likely to get hurt by water, or by somebody physically assaulting them?
     
  14. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I understand you were trying to make a point. It is usually best when your example used to make the point is within the bounds of reasonableness. Pointing out a condition so rare that most doctors won't even meet someone with the condition does not make a strong argument.

    Now, if you wanted to make a stronger argument, it would have been better to point out the injuries done to people when fire hoses were used on them and demonstrate how that damage most likely would be equal or greater than the injuries sustained in a fight that was not otherwise broken up by someone.

    I don't take issue with someone having an opposing viewpoint, but just because someone disagrees doesn't mean that a weak argument must be accepted.
     
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  16. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  17. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    There is a right way and a wrong way to physically intervene. Are you trained in that? Are the other teachers at your school? It is very easy to cause injuries when you're doing a takedown, especially to joints, so you have to be careful and know what you're doing. I don't and can't condone some sort of rogue, vigilante fight-stopping behavior on the part of untrained teachers. It's dangerous. But you do you.
     
  19. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    This is exactly the sort of depressing quandary which I will be glad to not have to deal with next year.

    I think what Caesar said about shielding a student is the best way if you're going to do it at all. It's best to have two teachers just put their bodies in between the two students without grabbing or holding, and just use your presence to back them away from each other.
     
  20. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Has anyone ever heard of CPI? In my district, all admin are CPI trained.

    Recently, I had to physically restrain a kindergartener who was flipping out in the classroom (throwing chairs, kicking and biting his peers, turning over desks, etc.)
     
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  21. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    When I was a Special Ed teacher, I was CPI trained; now that I'm in a regular classroom, I didn't renew my certification. All of our admin are trained, as are staff who are working directly with volatile students. I think that we currently have 8 CPI-trained staff members.
     
  22. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm now thinking CPI training might be something I should suggest to my principal. We haven't had a fight at my school yet, but there are a lot of students who are prone to lashing out in anger.
     
  23. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I've never had to break up a fight, but I've had to use CPI strategies with students who are having violent meltdowns.
     
  24. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I think it is a good idea. I remember in school a student was acting nutty and teacher threw water on him. This was like 1965 or so.
     
  25. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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  26. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    So true, but asinine that something like that can be considered assault or battery.
     
  27. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Many, many years ago when I was a trainee teacher I was sent on my first school placement. A tough school in a tough area of the city. Part of the placement was to find out answers to a series of questions. So I found myself in the office of the (female) deputy principle. The question was "You walk into a classroom and two male students are involved in a viscous fight, what do you do"? The DP replied "Close the door and come back when one of them is dead"!
     
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  28. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I did CPI training a while ago. It was very useful, although I don't remember any of it now. I agree that, unless someone has been trained to do so, they should not try to physically stop a fight. But, every school should have people trained if the necessity arises.
     
  29. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    In a program I used to work in we were all TCI-trained which sounds like it's along the same lines as CPI, but my most recent school/current school didn't require anything like that. This was a part of the reason I left the school I just left. Fighting was completely out of control and if no adults stepped in, it turned into dozens of kids wailing on each other and innocent kids getting stuck in the middle. I broke up a few fights and we never had issues with parents/administration getting onto us about it, but I think it's just a matter of time before an adult with good intentions injures a student and who knows then?
     
  30. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I have seen and heard of many fights at our high school. Not one time was it fatal and very serious to either student; none of them had to go to the hospital, ever. However, in the instances teachers got involved, many got hurt. Students don't see anything when they fight, sometimes the sound of a teacher's / admin's voice gets them to their senses, but most of the time they don't see anything, and that's how teachers get accidentally punched and hit.

    I will never, ever intervene, and everyone knows that, especially students. Often students don't really want to fight, they just want credit for wanting to fight. They pick the most populated times / places(lunch) and they know someone will break it up. Sometimes they fight in classrooms. I've told them numerous times I will not intervene, so if they're going to start fighting, they're gonna have to fight, bloody nose and lost teeth and all. I have not had a fight in my classroom for 3 years. Once outside, last year and I did nothing, except for calling admin. They know I meant what I said.
     
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