Increase in Fights at South Louisiana High School Prompts Concerns
Parents of students at a south Louisiana high school are voicing concerns over increasing acts of physical violence in what is supposed to be a safe learning environment. One school, in particular, is reporting a 75% increase in fights for this young school year when compared to the same time last year.
Parents of students at Jennings High School in Jefferson Davis Parish say they are alarmed at the substantial increase in fights that have been reported on campus already this year. One parent, speaking on condition of anonymity to KPLC TV in Lake Charles says that there have been several fights at Jennings High School in the past few days.
The parent, according to the KPLC story, suggested that a single altercation turns into multiple altercations as students become involved in watching the action. There have also been reports, according to this anonymous parent of "kids jumping kids".
School officials in Jeff Davis Parish say that Jennings High School has reported ten more fights this year when compared to the same time last year. Superintendent John Hall has gone on record as saying that many of these "fights" begin outside of school hours and off of school property on social media sites.
Hall also noted in the KPLC story that many of the altercations his faculty and administrators are seeing are happening with younger kids. The altercations usually begin with a social media post and that escalates into violence when the author of that post arrives on campus and is confronted by those who may have been besmirched by the comments.
Superintendent Hall says his office is administering suspensions and expulsions and when necessary local law enforcement is called in to investigate the incidents as well. Concerned parents are asking school officials for more safety officers on campus and higher fines and stiffer penalties for those who are involved in school violence.
The State of Louisiana does have very specific guidelines on how school systems should administer punishment to those who instigate and participate in violence on campus. However, most educators will tell you the best way to quell violence at school is parental involvement at home.
Education officials encourage parents to monitor their children's social media accounts and to be cognizant of what their children are posting about. They also encourage parents to contact their child's school at any indication of violence or the threat of violence.
A recent study showed that incidents of reported cyberbullying have increased in the United States from 15% in 2011 to 26% in 2018. Only India and Brazil have higher incidences of cyberbullying than the United States.
Superintendent Hall of Jeff Davis Parish says his office and his educators and administrators are aggressively monitoring the violence situation every day and are increasing their efforts to quell the violence before it begins. Again, as a parent, you are encouraged to report any concerns about safety at school immediately to your child's school and your local school board office.
10 Louisiana Laws You Don't Know You're Breaking