588 fights have erupted across Akron’s middle schools. What’s driving the violence?

588 fights have erupted across Akron’s middle schools. What’s driving the violence?

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Akron Public Schools administrators have an array of reasons students sometimes don’t get along with one another.

Numbers show fights happen often in some Akron schools, but why?

One fight at Innes Middle School caught on camera sparked a Cleveland 19 investigation.

We requested the number of fights that have occurred at each Akron Middle School.

So far this school year, Innes students have fought significantly more than students at other schools.

They’re on track to at least hit the 171 fights that happened last year.

That's almost one per school day.

Daniel Rambler was once a middle school principal. He’s now Akron’s director of student support services and security.

“I’ve broken up a number of fights in my day,” he said.

Wednesday, Rambler spoke only to Cleveland 19 about the difficulty in breaking a tough cycle.

“They’re taught, they’re raised to fight about it,” he said. “And I would also say that a lot of our kids are taught not that too.”

He says a majority of the fights happen in the hallways, outside of the actual classrooms. But, it’s hard to say what’s causing students to act out.

To get an idea of whether home environment may play a role in a student’s performance at school, we pulled data from the police department’s website.

We discovered within two miles of Innes Middle School, there have been three murders and 23 cases of aggravated assault so far this school year.

“I don’t think that’s a good excuse to use, and it’s absolutely not tolerable," Dr. Carolyn Ievers-Landis said after we told her about the stats.

She says she’s seen successful, healthy student bodies in high-crime areas.

“It doesn’t have to come into the school,” she said. “It has to do with the administration and how they handle things like that.”

Rambler says, “I would agree it’s our responsibility to make sure that kids are safe that kids are learning. Obviously fighting is a significant level of that.”

In the Innes case, Rambler says the four boys in the video faced significant disciplinary action.

Now it’s just a matter of whether they will continue to act out.

Rambler says the teachers acted appropriately in that case, by calling for a resource officer.

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