The after-school squabble by the bike rack is, in some ways, as classically American as apple pie and baseball. In the classic scene, two young men meet at a pre-determined place and settle a score from an earlier dispute. A few short minutes later knees are scraped, hair is mussed, the aggression is dissipated, and no lasting harm is done. This storied exchange is in decline for a number of reasons: greater involvement of schools in extra-curricular behavior, increased societal litigiousness, and in some cases a heightened risk of serious injury. However, a recent instance of Nevada public school violence shows the growing problem of school fights.
In Reno this week, two 16-year-old boys took advantage of a half-day at school to settle a score in brutal fashion. A crowd of nearly two dozen students gathered at a public park and authorities say that they began fighting as the climax of a dispute that is believed to have started earlier that day at school. According to reports one of the boys took hold of a stick and struck the other boy in the head, resulting in a Nevada head injury. The other boy hurt his ankle according to witnesses’ reports.
School officials acted quickly to impose consequences on those involved in the fight and to determine what role the school environment played in stoking the fires of the dispute. These administrators are acting not only for the welfare of all the students but also to cover their own liabilities — in a case where a Nevada school child is hurt on school property or as a result of school activities there is a heightened potential for Nevada public school liability.
It saddens us to see an example of young people resorting to violence to settle a score, and we hope that those involved will learn from the experience and that school faculty throughout the state will take new steps to avoid bullying and other hostile environments in our public schools. As a new school year begins, we wish all our readers and every Nevada family a safe and happy beginning of the new academic term. If you or a loved one need information about Las Vegas personal injuries, look no further than the free consultations and honest answers of Benson & Bingham.