Rumble in the Pitman Jungle

Rylee Moore (12th), Reporter

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You see it in the hallways. In the bathrooms. In the quad at lunch. At the park after school. It’s crowds of people craning their necks to see, pulling their phones out to record, running away when an adult comes to pull apart the two, three, four kids on the ground throwing their fists.

 Many teachers, staff, and students have noticed an inundation of student on student fights, specifically within the last few months. Some teachers think they see a pattern, that as the end of the school year draws closer, tension among students rises, and fights break out on an almost daily basis. And it isn’t just at Pitman either, it’s nationwide.

While there has been a significant decline in fights on campus since the 90’s, the introduction of social media has made the issue a lot more prevalent, commonplace, and a lot less serious to students. Kids start engaging in fights as early as sixth or seventh grade, and to peers, it is almost like a live show taking place right on that very campus.

Our school dean, Mr. Lanz, agrees that social media is to blame. A kid hears from another kid that someone or someone else has a problem, and threats are relayed back and forth until the students come face to face, jumping at each other before they’ve even had a chance to talk. And word spreads fast. Often times, students know exactly when and where a fight is set to happen, and they gather and wait, cell phones out and ready to record, to enjoy the show.

Many teachers here speculate that students are lacking in outlets, while others argue that students just aren’t taking advantage of the numerous extracurriculars our campus offers. So how does the problem get solved?

 “If someone knows of a conflict occurring, the best thing to do is make staff aware, so we can intervene before the fight occurs and not after”says Mr. Lanz

And he has a point. If our staff is made aware of a potential fight, they will see to it that it doesn’t happen, taking time to monitor more carefully or even encourage the students to resolve their conflict. After all, students won’t usually fight if they know they’ll be caught.

As for those watching instead of fighting, know that recording a fight on your cell phone can get you in trouble as well, and posting to social media or sharing with friends is a suspendable act. Know that you are indirectly encouraging your peers to hurt each other while you stand by.

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