Puma Press

The Student News Site of Northridge Academy High School

Puma Press

Puma Press

The Fight Against School Fights

The Fight Against School Fights

It’s no secret that as of the start of this school year, there has been an influx of student-related altercations across the Northridge Academy High School campus. So far, there have been more fights this semester than there were last school year combined, and this trend has made many students more than a little anxious to come to school. A few sophomores I spoke with voiced their concern for how these fights will affect them and their friends, and many other upperclassmen have noted the increase of altercations. What exactly is the cause of this rise, and how can we as a community overcome this?


In an interview with Assistant Principal Oh, in early October, I ask some of the most pressing questions students have about these fights and get insight from an administrator’s perspective:


Question: If you could tell students one thing to address their concerns about the recent fights, what would you say?

Answer: We take these events very seriously, and we exercise all of the authority that we have at our disposal. It’s better for us to be proactive than reactive so communication is key. While there have been, unfortunately, more fights this year than in the past we have also stopped many fights from occurring. We all need to do a better job of resolving our conflicts without resorting to physical violence.


Q: What can you say the administration is doing to address the fights?

A: We exercise all of the school and district policies at our disposal. We also want to work with the students to resolve any differences and incorporate restorative practices. Disciplinary actions have been taken to address and prevent future physical altercations. However, it is important that the details matter and every incident may require a different disciplinary response.


Q: What policies are in place to prevent fights from happening?

A: We don’t want to embarass or parade the actions we take in addressing our students for everyone to see, but all of the policies are of public record and part of our records and LAUSD student handbook and NAHS Code of Conduct which is reviewed yearly. Unfortunately sometimes students still break rules not caring about the consequences.


Q: In your opinion, what do you think is causing these student conflicts?

A: That’s a very complicated question and answer. One possible issue is that our main mode of communication is changing from being in person to digital. The problem with that is that unfortunately online/digital communication is much more aggressive, abrasive, and rude because the person you’re communicating with isn’t in front of you. The consequence is that a lot of the language is being translated into in person conversation; it’s carrying over. That is certainly a problem. This has made conflict resolution very difficult for not only students but everyone in general. In some sense, a lot of our disagreements literally don’t start in the real world.


Q: Are there any programs here to support students that may be struggling mentally?

A: We have a robust support system. We address every single student individually, we collaborate with our counselors, PSW (Psychiatric Social Worker), PSA (Pupil Services & Attendance), as well as outside resources. We are obviously very concerned with everyone’s safety in how we deal with these matters; if individuals require the additional attention, the most important thing to stress is to not wait to tell an adult on campus if you’re having issues. It’s much better to prevent than to react.


Mr. Oh cited online conversation and cyberbullying as a large contributor to the recent fights. While these digital interactions can be a contributor to physical clashes, there are many factors that play into these incidents. Student behavior, school environment, and expected conduct at school can all affect how these fights happen. Many upperclassmen I’ve spoken with believe that the incoming freshman’s behavior has been the cause of these altercations; however, it’s important to recognize these fights have involved people of all grades.


These fights also highlight an important issue that we as a school community may be facing, which is our lack of unity. Students may feel disconnected from their teachers and each other due to their smartphones and other technological barriers, which allows them to lessen the consequences of a fight in their mind. How can we mend this disconnect? It may be as simple as thinking twice before you speak and act. If every student that attended NAHS was conscientious and mindful of those around them, I think we could build a community that condemned violence rather than support it. It takes a group effort in order for there to be a significant change with anything in life, and that can be applied to the situation here too. Through our collective hardwork and conscious choices, I truly think that we can ensure a safer and more uplifting environment for years to come.

Donate to Puma Press

Your donation will support the student journalists of Northridge Academy High School and other school journalism programs nationwide. Your contribution will allow SNO to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Olivia Munoz
Olivia Munoz, Page Editor
Donate to Puma Press