Why do schools struggle to reduce school fights?

Students do not fight randomly, but they have been arguing for a long time. Most of their argument occurs on social media.  The consequence of most school fights is off-school suspension. Suspension is a temporary removal of students from their regular educational setting. However, growing research shows that schools give more suspensions to underserved groups. More importantly, suspensions have been linked to lower achievement and a greater risk of dropouts.  

However, are suspensions effective? For many students, suspensions become short vacations. However, the same students repeatedly fight and have multiple suspensions. Why? Suspensions should improve students’ behaviors, but those students fight again.

At the same time, school administrators cannot give too many suspensions because it affects a school’s Dashboard. Consequently, both administrators’ and teachers’ hands are tied, and they are just waiting for something horrible to happen.

It is clear that a school’s suspensions have no long-term impact on students’ behaviors. Therefore, we have to look for alternative consequences and MTSS interventions. Unfortunately, programs like Positive However, a school’s suspensions have no long-term impact on students’ behaviors. Therefore, we have to look for alternative consequences and MTSS interventions. Unfortunately, programs like Positive Behavioral Intervention System(PBIS) makes school setting even more unsafe for many students. The program’s goal is to lower the number of suspensions and improve students’ behavior. However, many teachers complain the programs make excuses for students’ inappropriate behaviors. Students acted up because of their disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, so we have to give those students more chances.

As schools cannot find a positive and impactful consequence, they cannot correct their behaviors early. Schools need to have an immediate and impactful consequence of changing students’ behaviors before school fights occur to solve the problems. Administrators and teachers cannot rely on suspension and Saturday schools to correct students’ behaviors because they are too late and have little impact. Again, the consequence must be impactful and immediate if we hope to reduce fighting in schools and create a safer school for all students.

As a teacher, I invented Safe Pouch NOT to my schools or classroom phone-free, but it is the teaching tool for teachers, administrators, parents to transform education. Reducing school fights is one benefit of implementing Safe Pouch.

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