Fight or flight at White Station



The fight counter with the title, “BE A LOVER NOT A FIGHTER” oversees the students walking in and out of the cafeteria. The counter hopes to motivate students to avoid starting fights with other students.

A few things come to mind when hearing the words White Station High School: academic, diverse and “fight station.” Fight station describes the school’s history of fights between students; compared to “academic” and “diverse,” it is not a phrase Spartans are proud about.

It is not unusual to hear about a fight on campus. Fight culture is becoming a widespread issue at White Station, whether it is through word of mouth, social media accounts or witnessing fights firsthand. The administration is implementing new measures to reduce the frequency of fights. From resource officers patrolling the hallways during the school day to various counseling options for students that give them space to sort their troubles with professionals. However, it leaves some wondering – is this enough to reduce the number of fights?

“I don’t think [White Station’s reputation] is very good,” Arielle Hunt (9) said. “[The term ‘fight station’] makes it look like [White Station] is a dangerous place [where] people wouldn’t want to send their kids. I think it takes away from the academics and what the teachers are putting in effort to teach us.”

The fight counters near the Freshmen Academy, Main Building offices and cafeteria have been mounted on the wall since the beginning of the year. They keep track of the number of days without a fight, but not all fights have been reported or documented by staff or administration.

“This school is so large that you could go somewhere and fight and [administration would] not know about it,” mobile security officer Ronald McClain said. “I’m sure [that] it probably has happened … I’m not certain that we know of all the fights that happen.”

Although student-run fight accounts are no longer as active as they once were, the owners of the accounts could receive videos submitted by students. The video would consist of students crowding around a group of people and cheering them on before they started swinging at each other.

“[People follow the account] because it’s interesting … seeing the fights, seeing why people fight, it’s kinda like instigating,” Jaliyaa Dogan (9) said. “Just being involved with drama you had nothing to do with.”

Students fight over rumors on the basis of hearsay: whether it is fighting about relationships, rumors or disagreements, they might not consider the impact or consequences of the fight.

“It’s kind of bothersome that there are so many fights going on right now, when a lot of the fights are over nothing,” McClain said. “We’ll hear someone say that ‘Someone was talking about me’ and you ask them if you heard them talking about you and they said ‘No, someone else told me that they was talking about me.’ A lot of this stuff is ‘he say, she say’ and you didn’t even know that they was saying anything about you and you just upset over anything.”

Although there are more things being put into place to deter students from fighting, including more officers patrolling the hallways, some think that students will fight regardless of what the district or school decides to implement.

“I really think the school tries its best and I really don’t see what the school can do,” Hunt said. “I think the students can just focus on being nice to each other – focus on treating each other how they would want to be treated.”

Regardless of what the administration decides to do, fights hurt people and others in the crossfire. It changes people’s perception of the students and often damages the reputation of the school – despite any other redeeming qualities.

“I’m just afraid someone’s going to get hurt because of the large amount of fights,” McClain said. “Anything can happen … I don’t know how we [are going to]  stop getting these kids so angry and upset over each other. They will fight over words – not actions.”