I broke up two fights today - one between two of my kids and another between kids from another class. It was the third fight to break out in my class, not counting two or three scuffles (that's the technical term). All three fights have broken out going to or from my classroom, which leads me to believe I need to enforce tighter control when the kids are in line and do a better job of keeping all the kids in my eyesight.

Aside from causing me to reflect on what I can do to keep these fights from happening (and what they represent in terms of my own lack of control) what also strikes me about these fights is how quickly they happen. It can start with something as small as a look, someone saying "Shh!" or someone accidentally bumping into someone else. Or it can start with something more serious like a Dominican girl telling her classmate that Jamaica is a shitty island.

Either way it's a constant reminder of the kind of intense and brutal environment these kids grow up in. Fists are the go-to method of mediation and on several occasions students have said something to the effect of, "My mom told me if anyone bothers me to punch him out." So when that's the message being taught at home it's no wonder that violence erupts so easily in school.


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