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AWRIGHT DEN!: Schoolgirl fight

COREY WORRELL, [email protected]

AWRIGHT DEN!: Schoolgirl fight

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ON MONDAY NIGHT, I watched a video of two senior secondary schoolgirls fighting and though it was painful to watch, I was not at all shocked.

The video didn’t reveal what provoked the incident as it started while the girls were fighting. One girl pulverised the other, forcing the one receiving the blows to cover her head and face. It was clear that the girl on the ground had surrendered and was no longer interested in fighting. The other girl backed off and then decided to stamp and mash the girl across her body.

All this time numerous students were cheering on the girl who was doing the beating, telling her to “buss she head”. The girl lay motionless on the ground as another girl grabbed her by the hand and pulled her up into a seated position. At this point the crowd of students erupted in laughter at the girl who was beaten.

The other girl returned to continue the blows while the girl on the ground just sat and took the blows to the head.

A male voice could be heard telling the ‘aggressor’ to “beat she some more”. At this point the girl picked up what looked like a piece of PVC pipe and hit the other with it, which forced her to try to defend herself. A single male came and parted the girls.

Many thoughts and emotions ran through me as I watched and analysed the video. The cheering and expletives were indeed disappointing, but what was most disturbing was that not one single student saw it necessary to part the fight/beating or not allow it to start or restart. The students enjoyed what was going on and this reveals a growing problem within the psyche of our youth.

When I was at Foundation School, principal Major Hugh Barker had a rule that any student caught running to, instigating or encouraging a fight received the same punishment as those involved in it. I can’t say I know anyone who was a victim of that rule, but I made sure I wasn’t. Also, if my mother knew I ran to or encourageda fight or was involved in one at school, that would have been the end of me. It is my belief that all those students present should be equally punished with those involved in the fight.

Many secondary schools have a rule for dealing with fights that I do not agree with. Once there is a fight, generally all those involved are dealt with the same way, even if one was just defending oneself. Fights should be avoided but if people need to defend themselves, they shouldn’t be punished for it.

Some people may be surprised when I say this, but the behaviour displayed in the video is common in some schools and, as a result, many teachers aren’t shocked by this video. There are some teachers who deal with this type of behaviour daily and weekly. For those who are asking, it is my understanding that it isn’t the role of a teacher to part fights and many teachers are objecting to even attempting to part fights since some have been knocked out, had their clothing damaged, been seriously injured and even hit with a concrete block, all at their expense.

Regulation 23 of the Duties Of The Teacher, obtained from the Education Regulation 1982, states that a teacher in a public school shall, subject to the act and these regulations, (f) maintain proper order and discipline among the pupils under his care; and (h) assist in promoting the welfare and well-being of the pupils and fostering their social and moral development.

This should raise serious concerns for any parent. Who then is responsible for parting a fight? Is your child to be beaten until the fight stops? Honestly, some of the security guards at our schools look so shaky, untrained and unfit that I have little faith in their abilities.

Don’t believe the lies; all schools aren’t the same. I can tell you that there are some where this level of violence would not occur. I taught at a school for a full year and there wasn’t one report of theft, a fight or an altercation.

I’ll let you ponder which school that was.

• Corey Worrell, a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, is director of C2J Foundation Inc., a project-based NGO focusing on social development. Email [email protected]