DeKalb County

Metro superintendent blames social media for increase in school fights

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Another fight involving more than a dozen students has the superintendent of one metro Atlanta school district searching for answers as to why schools are seeing more and more fights.

A fight at Martin Luther King High School in DeKalb County had to be broken up by administrators and school police officers.

Interim DeKalb County Superintendent Dr. Vasanne Tinsley told Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes that these fights can be difficult to predict because oftentimes the conflicts begin outside of school before becoming a fight when they see each other at school.

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Tinsley says that she believes the thrill of recording videos of a fight and posting them online is part of the reason why students have been doing it so much.

“It becomes a safety concern not just for the ones participating, but for the bystanders and those that are around, as well,” Tinsley said.

She says she believes conflict resolution is the answer and is encouraging students to keep speaking up when they hear about fights that are going to happen.

“The main thing we want students to understand is if they have conflict, if they have problems, let somebody know so we can help. But what I will tell you that’s been phenomenal for us is that many of the reports that we receive come from our students,” Tinsley told Fernandes. “Sometimes they’ll tell you, ‘Oh, there’s gonna be a fight at 12:00 in the bathroom,’ and we’re able to say, ‘Get somebody in there and make sure that doesn’t happen.”


One parent Fernandes spoke to wants district officials to implement conflict resolution training, but that she also believes parents need to do a better job holding their kids accountable for their actions.

“The parents just have to get more involved because the district can do what they can, but if the parents are not involved or the parents aren’t involved with where your kids are at, who they’re hanging with, then there’s not too much the district can do,” the parent, who did not want to be identified, said.

Students involved in fights across metro Atlanta face disciplinary action from the school, but can also face criminal charges. Some of them who are 17 years old can be charged as adults.

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