Just look at the passage below from an article in the Times Union about a young high school student from First Coast high school that was gunned down at at house party.
The students said Johnson, who was 18 but was initially identified as 16, got into a fight at the high school with a senior. Johnson, who was well-known for his scrappiness, won the fight against the larger combatant, the students said.
He was well known for his scrappiness. I wonder if the district ever took notice or if either student received consequences for the fight they were in. I somehow doubt it was the first fight for either. Maybe they both felt invincible because in the past their poor behavior had been ignored or dismissed.
I am not victim blaming here but if it turns out he was killed by a classmate how close were we from seeing this beef played out at school? It seems pretty close.
Kids need consequences for their behavior and fighting should never be tolerated. If the fights recently publicized would have happened at the landing or in a grocery store kids would have went to jail. Society wouldn’t have just shrugged their shoulders and said, oh kids will be kids. they would have demanded we do something.
Vitti’s heart may have been in the right place, we were probably suspending children at to fast of a pace and we were definitely ignoring the underlying causes of their behavior, who knows given proper training and resources restorative justice might even work. We however have an epidemic of violence in our schools and it’s just a matter of time before a tragedy like the one that happened at the party happens at one of our schools.
I wonder what would have happened if after the first fight both would have gotten a serious consequence followed up by behavior supports. I wonder what would have happened had our school system taken the time do thing right.
Discipline is not easy but ignoring it just makes our problems worse and in this case if the original beef happened at school and then nothing of consequence was done, ignoring discipline may have played a role in a young mans death,
We have to wake up before this happens again.