Violence strikes as students fight

Text messages like this are often the catalyst for fights at Skyline.

Photo Credit: Rosa Maldonado

Text messages like this are often the catalyst for fights at Skyline.

Rosa Maldonado, Reporter

   Fighting has been a big issue this year at Skyline,within the last month, over three known fights have broken down on school property.There is a difference between fighting in agreement and attacking someone, but neither are okay at school. Speaking of fighting, Officer John Cowley said, “At the end of the day, when we get down to find out what caused the whole fight, it is always a misunderstanding between the two people.” Fighting is a mutual combat when two people get together and agree to see who the best fighter is or who is stronger, but it is an automatic misdemeanor and both parties get charged with disturbing peace in a public surrounding. Similarly, attacking or confronting another person is also an automatic misdemeanor along with a battery charge.

   In addition to a public record, for District 91, the consequences for getting caught fighting is an automatic five-day suspension, either out of school or supervised. As groups divide and go against each other, it makes the school look bad as if there was only one side to be chosen other than getting along with everyone. “We need to be a little more sensitive and thick skinned about people talking bad about each other,” Cowley advised. He also recommended talking it through with an adult that is able to help out in the situation, like the counselors, principals or even himself. A lot of the drama surrounding the fighting is caused by either social media or friends.

   Social media is often where all the online bullying and confronting begins. Students often seem to thrust one another into violence, and then all their other friends get involved creating more drama and the separation of groups. Friends also play a big role in drama, starting with the twisting of words. The number one cause of students in Skyline fighting is over accusations of talking bad about one another. Some people hear one thing from one person and rumors spread until it gets to the person it was intended towards, and the words get twisted and mixed up in the process.

   Most kids don’t realize the seriousness of getting charged with a misdemeanor. The charge will stay on one’s permanent record for life unless it is expunged, which according to Officer Cowley is very rare. People have to report their misdemeanors any time they apply for a job, so to have this on one’s record can really limit future opportunities for success. Also, the students present at the scene watching and recording can get in more or equal trouble to the ones who are actually fighting.

   When recording the fight kids are also charged with the disturbing of school process. The charge is also a misdemeanor because it invokes the fight. The video is spread out through social media and friends. When the fight is recorded the fight is pushed more to happen because it is what people want to see, making them a big portion of the reasoning behind the fight. Students who witness a fight are encouraged to go and seek help instead of watching the fight unfold.

   When asked about the recent fights, Cowley shared some specific statistics “In the past two to three months, every fight at Skyline has been between Hispanics and the majority have been girls.” In the last two weeks, Officer Cowley has reported three fights on school ground or near school ground. It is not typical that he follows kids off of the school campus or the area when he hears about a fight, but when the fight is nearby, then he goes and puts a stop to it.