Is violence an issue in northtown?

Students and staff of Northtown share their thoughts on violence and fights in Northtown.


Caleb Goncalves, writer

School environments have faced many issues, such as violence. That issue particularly has a lot of attention in US, which is why most schools are prepared for lockdown situations and maintain an anti-bullying ideal. Positively, according to the National Institution of Justice, the rates of violent victimization, bullying, and fear of being harm in schools are low and have been decreasing since the 1990s. 

Aggressivity has been generally decreasing in American schools for a while; does that apply to all schools?

After a survey was spread, most students of Northtown agreed that student violence has been increasing in Northtown, unlike the standard of student violence decrease within US. This survey also got relevant output related to fights, as the greatest part of the students revealed to have seen or heard of multiple fights in the current school year.

“I haven’t heard of other schools who have as many fights as we do. I mean, for example, […] there were around 7 fights or so in one week.” Said an anonymous student.


The school staff can add to that topic. The campus supervisor, Russ Collins, is one of the workers in charge of taking care of fights in Northtown.

“Our job as campus supervisors is to avoid a situation,” Collins said, “if something is happening, then our job at that point is to stop that.” 

Different from student survey results, Collins believes the fight rates have been steady throughout his years working in the school.

“Unfortunately, [fights] do happen,” he said, “but it seems a pretty steady flow, […] I don’t think it’s gotten any worse or any better”

With direct contact with fights, Collins has experience with how the environment and people react to fights.

“[When] something’s going on, it’s like there is a vacuum in,” he said, “it seems like [the fight] is a magnet.” 

“It’s a negative reaction” Collins said, “ everybody wants to see what’s going on. Nobody can just not go there”

In the survey spread around school, most students report to not feel fully safe in Northtown. Increasing or not, violence is a real issue and Collins claims the school is trying to act on that.

“I think they’re working on [it]”, he said, “just a work in progress”

Collins points out some of the things the staff with direct contact with fights have been “working on”

“When we have large groups of people in an area, I think we’ve doing a little bit of work on trying to keep kids in classes,” he said “trying to be more proactive. Instead of just standing around waiting for it to happen, take care of it before it starts.”

Another staff Northtown’s member that can talk on student violence is Theo Fundermann, the assistant principal.

“My role is first to help students develop ways and strategies to avoid conflicts and be able to work through it using their words,” he said.

Fundermann is aware of how the school acts with students that got in fights and he speaks on that.

“If a conflict were to occur, the students involved in a fight would receive a 10 day suspension,” he said, “if it is one that disrupts the entire environment in a large impact, […] there could be a peace of disturbance filed against them,”

He also emphasized the importance of the positive attitude towards those students.

“While there is a consequence for the behavior, the number one thing we want to make sure is that we are restorative,” he said.

Fundermann specifies in the meaning of that.

“When students come back from conflicts like that, we have an opportunity to have them working together and be able to talk to each other and resolve this problem,” he said, “because we want every student to feel like they can come back here and not have to engage in this type of conflicts.”

After all, fights are present in high schools. They are a real issue faced, as the students survey reported, and Fundermann has a last statement in the school’s position on that.

“Our goal is to always lower [fights], and I do believe we can lower those,” he said, “we’ve got some good strategies that we’re using to help our students to avoid these conflicts.”