Violence over Education

Have fights at CGHS become normalized?

Imagine walking to class in the morning, just another day in your life, but then just before you could get to the door, it gets barricaded by a crowd of students punching and kicking each other consistently. Fights are becoming more and more prevalent every day and schools such as CGHS seem to be putting it under the rug. School fights are more than just for the movies, they’re real fights with real people in a real situation. Schools are meant to serve as a learning environment, not a place for students to threaten each other to be in a certain location at a certain time.

CGHS is no stranger when it comes to school fights, whether that be on courtyard, in the hallways, outside of school, or in the cafeteria. Anyone can get into a fight, whether that be on purpose or not. Poor students who don’t even want to get involved sometimes find themselves getting hurt for no reason at all. In which case, this leaves the opportunity for anyone to get into a frenzy. Sometimes it’s to impress their peers, or sometimes it’s to prove something to themselves. Kaitlyn Ameno, Grade 9 says the following, “Fights are like fist arguments for people who don’t know how to work out simple conversations”. Some people can be more easily offended than others and things can escalate very quickly. It can cause a poor display of cooperation and with today’s generation, most people, if not everyone, owns a phone. This allows these fights to be documented in film by the click of a button and be spread all over social media, making CGHS look bad in the process.

People love having a good movie to watch, and to many students who get easily bored in school, fights between students is the only enjoyment they can get as entertainment. This should not be the case, however, it is and not much is being done about it. CGHS has had its fair share of fights during its 2021-2022 run. Ryam Cruz, Grade 9 mentions, “During my time at CGHS, there was a minimum of 1 fight or 2 a week since the beginning of the year.” This number has died down with about 1 every 2 weeks instead-but remains prominent. The thing is, no one seems to care; not even the school itself at times. There have been fights at CGHS that have gotten so extreme to the point of arrest, or helicopters appearing and broadcasting the fights on live news. Despite these arguably important moments, they don’t even get talked about between students. People only care for about 5 minutes and then move on with their lives. This may be a result of normalization. The more fights that take place, the less of a deal it is to people. At this point, school fights have boiled down to another piece of entertainment, just another thing for your pals to place some bets on who they think the winner is. Being normalized is not a good thing, it is an issue that affects the whole school as well as everything connected to CGHS.

Studying can still be possible even with the regular fights, but they’re still negatively impacting the school. Students come to school to learn, even if they don’t want to be there at all. Fights that happen on a regular day-to-day basis can make some students anxious about their safety. Sebastian Martinez, Grade 9, states “It can make a student feel unsafe in a space that isn’t meant to be unsafe, once that area feels dangerous, you’ve got a problem on your hands.” Doing a task as simple as homework should be in a calm serene environment, no one should have to move frantically looking for a safe place to finish their classwork.

The entirety of school should be a place of learning; not somewhere to settle our differences with punches to the gut. As always, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Coral Glades is starting a new program called the “Safe-Keepers”. Sebastian Martinez, Grade 9 in addition says, “It is an opportunity for volunteers to keep up morale and positivity for the chance to stop fights from happening less often. Though they haven’t done anything yet since February, only time will tell that the program is implemented soon enough.” In this time, we should prioritize education over violence, not violence over education. Someone needs to make a difference, be the change you want to see in the world. Remember, the fight against school fights starts with you, make the unsafe become safe again.