SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Seminole County School District officials say they’re seeing an increased occurrence of fighting among students this year.
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To address the problem, they’re partnering with Stetson University on a pilot program called “Restorative Practices,” aimed at stopping fights before they happen.
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Last Week at Seminole High School, a large brawl broke out, leading to several arrests.
Officials said the fight was the result of a dispute between rival neighborhood factions spilling onto campus.
School officials say social media is also a major factor in the majority of the fights they see.
Restorative Practices aims to get those “beefs” out into the open so that they don’t boil over into the classroom.
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“We had a lot of students coming from a lot of different places,” Lyman High School Principal Michael Hunter said. “A lot of students that hadn’t been on campus for a very long time, so we knew when you bring that many young adults together, that there was going to be a lot of tension.”
Through the Restorative Practices program, students in Coach Jermel Jones’ weight lifting class formed a trust circle, bringing students from all different walks of life together and building high expectations of behavior while also offering high levels of support.
Jones says it builds trust in the classroom as well as a family atmosphere.
“So kids don’t feel alone...so they will know there are other people within the group that are within our circle that have some of the same feelings, some of the same desires, same hopes about life they do, and now those kids can gravitate to one another,” Jones said.
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Principal Hunter says they have a long way to go, but the district is looking into expanding the Restorative Practices program district-wide.
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Cox Media Group