URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Two teachers were hurt and several students suspended after five fights happened at Urbana Middle and High School this week.
High School Principal Deloris Brown says, “The community issues have now spilled over into the schools.” She says there’s a pattern happening among kids in the district that needs to stop.
On Monday there was a fight at the middle school. On Tuesday there were four more fights, two at the middle school and two at the high school.
Parents recognize it’s a problem that’s been ongoing for years. Ronnie Turner-Winston says, “It concerns me obviously as a parent because fights in the schools mean that students and staff are in unsafe conditions.”
Winston is a parent of a middle schooler and member of the PTA. Her daughter has seen fights happen at school before. She says, “I think the school district has been doing a better job of letting us know what’s going on as things happen.”
These most recent fights are among dozens that have happened so far this year. The district recently started a new disciplinary system which eliminated several dean positions who were in charge of student discipline. Brown says, “There have been some students who are pushing the limits, who are taking advantage of having new staff and a new principal.”
The new strategy focuses on restoring relationships for students, which the district has been enforcing this school year. Brown says, “We want to make sure that behaviors are changed and that students meet our expectations.”
After the fights this week, the district says they will provide support for the suspended students when they return to school. Brown says, “Some students will be hooked up with our clinical professionals within our building to have more one on one and group level interventions.”
The principal says they are coordinating with mentors to come into the school and talk with students about building life skills and the importance of staying away from violence.