Since Oct. 1 of this school year 357 fights have been logged by administrators in Oklahoma City Public Schools.
In October, 159 fights were recorded by administrators, and so far in November, 198 fights have been logged.
Beth Harrison, communications director with the district, confirmed the numbers to Free Press in email and text messages Friday.
She cautioned that the district has a broad definition of “fight.”
Harrison said the Student Code of Conduct defines “fighting” as involving “… the exchange of mutual, physical contact including, but not limited to, hitting with or without injury.”
“However, for perspective, it’s important to realize that principals can enter something as small as two kindergartners pushing each other a couple of times and yelling ‘shut up’ as a ‘fight,'” Harrison said.
The fight at U.S. Grant High School Wednesday was more than that, though.
Free Press was the first to report a full-on brawl between seven high school girls at the school designed for 1,200, but squeezing in over 2,000 this year.
The seven were cited with disorderly conduct by the school resource officer (SRO) and will have to appear in Oklahoma City municipal court over the incident.
Two teachers were injured breaking up the fight. Their principal, Greg Frederick, insisted they see a doctor.
One of the teachers was treated for a knee abrasion and the other for a sprained wrist. Both were released that day without restriction.
Ed Allen, American Federation of Teachers Local No. 2309 president, had just engaged in a 90-minute exchange with the OKCPS Board of Education Monday about a survey they had conducted with the district’s teachers.
The survey showed widespread concern among teachers and doubt that the district was improving mainly because of the atmosphere in which they must teach.
“These teachers are heroes. The heroes that would step in with seven girls fighting and try to break it up,” Allen said. “That’s what a teacher has to know: That when [they] go to work that might happen.”