Food fights are fun. They always have been, and in the annals of high school lore, always will be. From my previous perspective, there was nothing more entertaining during the lunch period than to nail someone in the face with a Twinkie or bathe them in gravy or other condiments.
I know, my high school self was quite the douchebag.
All that aside, when full scale food fights (or any other form of student shenanigans) break out, the normal train of consequences involves suspension or some other form of removing the student instigators from their peers for a short time. Hell, we were always suspended when I was in high school for being whipper-snappers.
However, as one Arizona high school has demonstrated, maybe the punishments aren’t severe enough.
What I want to know is where do these teachers and administration get off by alleging aggravated assault on a student who was on the ground in the fetal position? The teachers are clearly hovering over him. In the video, he claims that they were pummeling him while he was on the ground.
Some things to take into consideration:
- There is no claim that the kid was involved in the food fight itself, so would it be safe to assume he was trying to bail out?
- If he was actually trying to leave, then wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume he might have run into a teacher amidst the chaos, especially since his exit was probably hasty?
- With the mentality of today’s youth, there are probably 30 or more videos of the food fight from different sides of the cafeteria. At least one of them should have filmed what really happened, yeah?
- Allegation aside, is it okay for teachers to go beyond restraining a student to the point of punching and kicking?
- The prosecution decided to charge the kid based on a police statement from one of the teachers. Does this necessarily denote the correct investigative process for handing out felonies?
This video and the processes being laid by prosecutors are just another example of how schools have the tendency to over-blow situations. The way I see it, this kid was trying to escape the madhouse of the senior prank so he didn’t get in trouble for something he didn’t do. Ultimately, it handed him an aggravated assault charge, even though he was assaulted by the teachers. It’s unfair, and just shows that schools nowadays will do anything to protect their asses from any liability while the students are in their care. They could ruin this kids life. Felonies don’t go away.
This does make me think, however. How would my high school have handled this situation? Hypothetically, my fellow seniors started a food fight. I wanted nothing to do with said food fight (since my prank was so much more epic), and decided to bail out of the cafeteria, knocking over one of our many angry and violence-suppressed teachers.
- Jason, Philip, Anderson, and Trena all get blamed as well, whether they were there or not.
- The five of us have lengthy conferences with Finch and Coop Dawg.
- The five of us are sentenced to, like, two weeks of Wednesday and Thursday Night School.
- The five of us hang out with Mr. Massood, eat Whoppers, and bullshit for a few hours
That’s how I think Horizon High School should have handled the situation, or at least to that equivalent. No excessive cafeteria violence. No police reports. No prosecution. No witty blog post from me. They should have just given the kid in-school suspension for a couple of days, and let him bitch about how it’s unfair because he didn’t do anything. Problem solved. Close the file.
Ultimately, this is just another incident of damage control being taken too far, and making someone pay for an incident that is “a dangerous, physical assault that put the safety of hundreds of students and staff members at risk.”
Then shouldn’t someone pay for Meatloaf Monday?