Fight Philosophy: Fighting at Central


Magdalene Halikias

Hinsdale Central’s School Resource Officer, Art Holecek, discusses punishment regarding violence in school in the midst of recent fights.

Almost everyone knows the scene: the giant crowd of gawking students surrounding an argument that’s two seconds away from breaking out into something physical. Gasping and encouraging a fist fight, both inappropriate and uncalled for on school grounds. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s a spectacle. Snapchat stories erupting with footage of classmates engaging in a private, full out war. This is the fight philosophy. It can turn our school into an MMA arena in a matter of seconds.

Fighting at Central has experienced a steady, but significant increase in the past decade. In the 2007-08 school year, a total of six fights were reported, and the number doubled to 13 fights in the 2009-10 school year, leaving us to consider if there’s a problem.

Where do these fights stem from? Luckily, it’s gang warfare we’re talking about here. It’s just students that get a bit too heated about problems outside of the classroom, and in the moment, encouraged by their peers, act in a fit of rage. They start off just verbal, not even climactic. But as people eavesdrop and peer into the social privacy of conversation, the emotions felt amp up. It’s a matter of social facilitation, the actions don’t escalate until there’s a crowd.

“Fights usually happen during lunch because there’s a ton of people watching,” said Rimante Asmonaite, senior. “People just want attention.”

The student handbook clearly outlines the disciplinary measures regarding fighting. With it being a more serious issue, higher-level consequences with disciplinary contact with the Deans will result. Depending on the level and severity of the fight, consequences can range from in-school suspensions, to possible expulsion.

Other consequences include dealing with the police. Fighting in school leads to a conversation with the school resource officer, Officer Holecek.

“It doesn’t make a difference if the fights are in school or outside of school,” said Officer Holecek. “To the police, it’s the same as fighting at a park outside of school. The school administration and the police handle it differently.”

But what do these misdemeanors say about Hinsdale Central. Does a increase in fighting suggest that the school has an issue? While we should be all eyes on the fighting scene at Central, suppressing issues that may arise, we aren’t facing a serious problem. Although there may be a few scuffles here and there, the issue is not frightening. While it may seem that there have been many fights recently, the magnitude is not overwhelming.

Typical responses include intervention from surrounding staff members, hall monitors, and school resource officers. If caught in a situation that involves physical fighting, it is suggested to leave the area immediately and let adults handle the situation.

There is no concern with the fighting at Central. Incidents occur, and sometimes that can’t be stopped. But they aren’t as common as we may think. See the social workers for help in resolving issues that may rise between students before they get physical. Because once students are in the moment, the fight philosophy kicks in.