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Responsibility for fight break-ups
Old 06-12-2019, 02:17 PM
 
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I'm a high school teacher. Male, mid 40s. These are the final days of the school year. It's the time when students assume they can't get into trouble and receive any consequences. Apparently, it's also fight season. Three so far this week. This morning, it was brewing outside my classroom during hall change time. I called the office (so they could send security or administration in my direction).
I have a summer full of activities that require me to be in top notch health. I'm not about to break up any kind of fights and put my safety in danger. One of the security officers looked down on me and mumbled something like "Did you just watch or did you try to break it up at all?"
Some of these students who are fighting are ones who have caused trouble for most of the school year (suspensions, superintendent hearings, etc.).
At one conference sponsored by our district, we were told we aren't required to intervene physically but must at least call the office and shout a word such as "Stop!". I'm wondering what you all are instructed to do and also what you'd be willing to do.


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Old 06-12-2019, 03:55 PM
 
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I'm with you, I won't physically get involved. I would let admin and/or security do their jobs and handle the fights especially since they are the same old culprits [sp].
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:26 PM
 
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Never touch any student involved in a fight. You do that and something is bound to wrong. The district will hang you out to dry. Call the office immediately and send a bystanding student to the office to get help. That's your witness. Any officer quizzing you about whether or not you intervened is not your worry.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:58 PM
 
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We have been told not to physically intervene. Call for help, try to escalate or defuse, try to get other students out of the area. And yes, tell directions like stop or freeze.

Unless you have been specifically trained to intervene and that's in your job description, don't.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:39 PM
 
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Same here as TAOEP. Strictly against policy for teachers to get physically involved. Tell the security officer that's HIS job! You are a teacher.


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Old 06-12-2019, 09:04 PM
 
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I do not touch students or get between them in any way. I tell them to stop and send someone for help. We have a few people in the building trained to handle those situations.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:29 AM
 
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I've seen faculty get hurt trying to break up fights. A big nope from me. (Also male teacher.)
Our school still houses students who have clearly made no progress in their academics and only show up for social purposes. The ring leaders have quite a following.
I feel that until we find an alternative for these hoodlums, we'll be seeing fights and random mayhem.
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Breaking up fights
Old 06-13-2019, 03:23 AM
 
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Although there is not an official policy, in the past two school years my school has had two teachers get seriously injured breaking up fights.

So we as a staff will not break up fights. We are also discouraged from physically blocking students who want to join in for fun or want to help verbally escalate a fight.

Like PP these students aren't going anywhere. A student who struck and seriously injured a teacher this year was out for less than a week and he finished the school year here.

I am at a middle school.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:51 AM
 
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I would have had a talk with that security guard. They never do anything as far as I see. They play best friends with the kids so their job is easier and never follow through on any kind of discipline.

As far as breaking up fights, sounds like itís just a way to get fired or reprimanded. I guess it would depend on how bad a kid was getting pummeled, but it would take a lot for me to step in and break it up.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:42 AM
 
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Iíve seen and heard about more teachers put on leave for putting hands on kids than anything else. That includes getting in trouble for breaking up fights. That doesnít take into consideration the injuries that result from getting in the middle of fights.

If they want to kill each other let Ďme have at it.


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Fights
Old 06-13-2019, 01:33 PM
 
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I broke up a fight my first year 17 years ago. I hurt my back pulling a girl off another. The district did not cover my out of pocket expenses when I went to the doctor. I've never broken up another fight. We are not expected to break it up but we do have to call for help and tell the students to stop.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:33 PM
 
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I have only intervened in one fight in my 19 years. One of my really troubled 5th graders was trying to beat another boy's head into the blacktop basketball court. I could not NOT intervene. However, I only did because I felt the kid would be seriously injured. I knew I was taking a chance on him hitting me, but he didn't. We had a pretty good relationship.

Otherwise, just the normal posturing slappy shoving fight. No. I'm not touching them.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:18 AM
 
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I've put myself in the middle of fights to try to break them up. Thankfully it was successful. Nowadays I've cut down on that insanity. Not worth it. I call the office and that's all I'm willing to do since I haven't been trained or given specific instruction.
A colleague asked me "Would you jump into a random cage at the zoo? Then, why would you want to jump into a fight here?"
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