It’s no secret that schools have fights. This is not a Selma High School or Dallas County phenom. It’s happening across the state, across the country, and beyond. During my research to write this, I read an article discussing this issue which focused on the school systems in Australia and New Zealand. As I speak with colleagues near and far, they too have seen an increase in fights as we all return to school after the most difficult and unprecedented school year ever.
When I speak with my academics, the reasons for the fights vary, but a common thread is that there is usually a social media factor. Recording fights on cellphones and sharing them online has been common practice for quite some time now. Some fights are even staged for recording and publication purposes. There are websites and online platforms just for this purpose.
These videos often lead to bullying and school disruption. At one time, it was controversial for schools to consider punishing students for recording or sharing fights at school. This is not the case today. In fact, strict rules are in place in many school districts. Schools in the city of Selma may soon follow suit. What if cell phones weren’t allowed in school unless they were explicitly used for instruction? What impact, if any, would this have on school fights?
At our next Board of Education meeting, I will be recommending a policy that more closely enforces our current mobile phone guidelines and adds additional language related to recording and posting videos. Schools are places of learning and growth and of social and emotional development. We prepare our scholars to become successful adults. Recording and sharing incidents of violence is not part of this preparation.
What do you think of that? I agree that cell phones are an important tool for our young people. When used responsibly, they are an incredible asset. My goal is to keep our scholars and team members safe and to have schools that reflect a positive, engaging, and innovative culture. Our scholars and this community deserve it. Our board meeting is November 9 at 5 p.m., and the public is always welcome. Stay tuned to our website and social media for updates on this and other Selma Team events.
In other news, I took my COVID-19 booster last week. I had some pain for a day or two but no other side effects. With the holidays so close, I feel more protected. Are you fully vaccinated? If not, there are many opportunities in our community to learn more and receive the vaccination which is the best tool we have to lessen the impact this virus is having on families in Selma and Dallas County. Also, keep in mind that the CDC has announced that the three available vaccines are interchangeable for booster shots.
The pandemic isn’t over, but I’m so thankful that circumstances have improved a lot. Each week, we monitor COVID-19 data to include vaccination rates in our state and positivity rates in our county. Over the past few weeks we have had no cases, but we will update our data dashboard and provide a weekly summary as needed. We will also continue to share any changes to our current practices. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions to improve our communication.
Check our website and social media for information on testing and vaccination sites in our community. We also invite you to join us in Doing Our Part Everyday. Stay safe and be DOPE!