So what is my schools solution, keep the students away from each other. They changed their schedules, escort one student from the building 10 minutes before the end of day, and told them to avoid each other in the hallways. Do they really think this is a solution? Let’s start with the fact that telling them to avoid each other is ridiculous. Beyond talking in person, there are a million other communication mediums these students can use. The whole issue started over snapchat, not even in person. So fine, they don’t have the same class but you’re telling me you think this will stop them from communicating, I know you hear how ridiculous that is.
The real problem though is that this solution is putting a band-aid on deep wound that needs 50 stiches. I am sure another fight will happen any day now. They are still saying stuff, rumors are still going around, snapchat messages are still being sent, they haven’t seen each other in the building but the problems are all still there. So here’s an idea, what about sitting the students down and talking to them.
If we want to really help these students and solve the problem, we need to resolve the tension between them. The problem clearly did not go away after the fight and this isn’t some gang fight with organized members plotting it where the conflict is much larger than a conversation. It is simply two students that are dealing with some sort of issue. This is your typical teenage drama. Here is when we need to be teachers and teach these students how to resolve conflict with words. Instead we are teaching them to stay silent and ignore an issue. That’s in not a message I approve. In society we face a lot of conflict, some that cannot and should not be ignored. If I want my students to stand up for themselves in a way that others will listen to and respond to, we need to encourage that. Here is what I would purpose, get these students in a room, preferably at school where you can create a safe space, with supervision, and talk about what is really going on. Just an idea, but solve the root of the problem, not provide a temporary fix.
One of the students even came to me yesterday to talk about what is going on. He said to me “I wish I could just talk to him about what is going on to solve it but I am not allowed to approach him.” WOW. And I thought we were the adults. It is pretty sad when the student has the more mature solution than the adults leading the school.
Bottom line, teaching our students not to fight means teaching them other options.