A school in St Louis, Missouri, was last week forced to move classes online due to dangerous fights that made the campus unsafe for learners.
As reported by the Mirror, Riverview Gardens High School was put on unprecedented lockdown on Tuesday, September 12, after dozens of student fights disrupted the regular learning schedules, raising security concerns over the unsafe learning environment created by the incidents.
Fights Occurred Within The School’s Vicinity
According to a Fox 2 Now article published on Wednesday, school authorities reported two fights: one occurred during school hours and another after classes, with the county police, adding that some fights occurred inside buildings and others outside.
The fights left two students with minor injuries treated at the scene, and about 15 students were taken into custody for the violence.
The arrested students were subject to the juvenile court system, with the school implementing shelter-in-place protocols to prevent more fights before the school shut down.
Online Classes Implemented
Following the widespread fights, students were notified to remain home until Monday, September 18, to allow the school’s staff and the area police to get to the bottom of the matter.
As a result, the staff resolved to move lessons online for the rest of the week as the school worked on ensuring a safe and conducive environment for resuming on-site learning.
Parents Invited To Help Find The Solution
Parents of the students who engaged in the fights were invited to the school by the officials to help find solutions to the challenge and “promote a safe learning environment.”
While a single fight is not always uncommon in most schools, multiple conflicts can create a toxic learning environment with the safety of the students in jeopardy.
School District Takes Action
According to a letter sent to parents on Wednesday, September 13, the school ramped up security measures before the students reported back to school on Monday, September 18, to avoid a repeat of such fights and any other form of violence within the school’s premises.
Reacting to the incident, the district’s executive director of communications, Ishmael Sistrunk, said that they had “the utmost confidence” in the ability of scholars and school staff to learn, thrive, and succeed even during such challenging times.
School’s Activities Suspended And Some Postponed
In light of the school closure, school’s afterschool events scheduled for Thursday and Friday last week were canceled or rescheduled to a later date.
In addition to that, the district also canceled the pep rally, the homecoming parade, and the dance initially scheduled for last Saturday, with the homecoming game limited to players, coaches, and parents.
While canceling such events at the eleventh hour was unpopular, Superintendent Joylynn Pruitt-Adams stated in the letter sent to parents that such measures were taken to ensure the safety of the school staff, students, and the community, which they termed their “top priority.”
Other Schools Face Similar Challenges
Riverview Gardens High School is not the only school impacted by the wave of fierce fights and violence sweeping across high schools in Missouri, as many other schools have also had to deal with student fights and violence, leading to the suspension of some popular events.
Football Game Gone Wild
St. Mary’s Southside High School was forced to reschedule its game after a fight broke out in the stands during the match, causing mayhem that brought the entire sporting event to an abrupt stop.
Earlier, Alton High School moved classes online for a day following multiple student fights.
To prevent a repeat of such incidents, the officials restricted attendance at the first home football game to players, their close family members, band members, and cheerleaders.
Threats Of Violence Looms
Vashon High School in St. Louis also canceled the September 1 football game Cardinal Ritter High School due to threats of violence during the match following many fights at Vashon High School in St. Louis.
In addition, Cahokia and Granite City faced the consequence of student fights as the two teams forfeited their games scheduled for last weekend due to suspension related to a fight that broke out during a match between the two schools on Friday, September 8, 2023.
Meanwhile, the school said in a post shared on X that it expected all students to return to school ready to continue with the on-site learning.
The Homecoming football game between the Riverview Gardens High School Rams and Jennings Warriors has been canceled. Scholars will return to the high school campus on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023. We expect all scholars to arrive ready to participate in learning. pic.twitter.com/buYiZTWirq— Riverview Gardens High School (@RGHS_official) September 16, 2023
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This article was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. Source.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.