Elyria High School acts quickly when fights break out at school - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Elyria High School acts quickly when fights break out at school

High school fight caught on tape. (Source: WOIO) High school fight caught on tape. (Source: WOIO)
ELYRIA, OH (WOIO) - A student is talking loudly, then turns and walks away in a hallway at Elyria High School. As she does another girl sucker punches her in the back
of the head.

What is unusual about a video of the event is that you notice how quickly staff and security get involved to break things up.

After a short time online, the students who posted the video took it down, according to assistant Principal Shane Newark.

"A lot of our kids who came to us to tell us that it was posted were embarrassed that it was out there about us because that's not who we are," says Newark.

In a day where school fight videos are almost a way to brag or to promote random violence, things have gotten different at Elyria High.

Yes, there are fights, but fewer each semester according to administrators.

A central reason for the success here is visibility. Staff, administrators and security people are always visible, especially when classes are changing.

Newark says, "If you're available and the kids can see you then it's less likely for things to occur."

Newark says he is very visible, not only if there is a problem, but all day.

He says anticipating a beef between two kids is another key, observing that, "If they need mediation we can get them to work with a counselor or an administrator and they can kind of talk to the kids and work through the problem so it doesn't escalate."

The most recent fight video occurred last week.

The girl who was punched and walked away did the right thing by not retaliating.

The instigator suffered what the school calls "harsh consequences."

Newark says it isn't just the school taking part here. Community organizations, pastors and even business partners also provide mentoring to keep kids on the right path.

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