Each year in American high schools, 35.5% of students report being in a fight at school, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Here at Penn Manor High School, like most high schools, this issue is a reality. Already this school term there have been a number of fights in the halls and cafeteria.
But despite the presence of the problem, Principal Philip Gale believes fighting is less prominent than in previous years.
Gale said, “It’s usually something that’s been brewing for a while.”
Gale explained that Facebook and Myspace often play a role in stirring up angry emotions.
That actually happened to one Penn Manor junior.
“I was talking to [his] friend on Facebook, joking, but [he] took it seriously,” Zach Miller recalled. “Then I heard he made fun of my pink pants.”
Soon after that conversation, Miller was involved in a fight.
Major injuries are not a common result of Penn Manor fights, Gale said. Most injuries are minor –if they exist at all.
Along with Gale, assistant principal Eric Howe noted, “(the violence) is down from last year.”
Howe believes what keeps fighting at bay in a building of 1,800 kids is the cameras used in the halls, because “there’s really no where to hide.”
Howe thinks having Officer Jason Hottenstein, the school’s resource officer, has helped. If things get way out of hand, Hottenstein has the ability to look at matters from a legal standpoint.
Howe gives credit to the staff of Penn Manor High School for being consistent with their discipline of students caught up in fights.
Besides cameras, Hottenstein and consistent consequences, good behavior is attributed to the students themselves.
“Our kids do a great job.” Gale said.
By Sarah Schaeffer