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Spike in number of fights at PCHS brings action

A recent spike in the number of student fights at Pulaski County High School has led administrative staff within the school system to take action.
The number of student fights at PCHS has been on the rise over the past semester, according to Dr. Tom Brewster, assistant superintendent of administration for the Pulaski County Public School system.
He noted that up until this school year, that number had been decreasing.
The administrative staff at PCHS really started to notice this increase in November, and began talking in December about a plan for the spring semester to help decrease the number of fights at the school, Brewster said.
Using data that includes the who, what, when, where and why about these fights, Brewster said the administrative staff at PCHS has developed a proactive plan that will go in to action on Tuesday, which is the first day of the spring semester.
Included in this plan of action is increased visibility. Administrators, teachers and staff at PCHS will make themselves visible in key areas of the school where there is heavy student traffic which can invite conflict, such as the locker banks and hallways during class changes.
Brewster said that in situations where there is increased visibility by adults, students will be less likely to engage in fights.
In addition, Brewster said the plans call for a different schedule configuration at PCHS, in which students will be released at the end of the school day in increments, instead of being released all at once, to cut down on heavy traffic in the hallways.
PCHS administrators and guidance counselors will also be visiting classrooms to discuss the penalties of in-school fighting, along with ways to avoid conflict.
Brewster said another proactive measure will be the formation of a group of “Cougar Ambassadors,” made up of PCHS students. These students will be trained in peer remediation, so that they can help their fellow students avoid conflict situations before they reach boiling point.
He added that there is also the possibility of expanding the program that is used for students who are drug and alcohol offenders, in which they meet with a counselor from New River Community Services. It would be expanded to include counseling for students who have been involved in serious fighting situations, to help them with conflict resolution, avoidance and awareness.
In addition, Brewster said that he and his fellow administrators plan to continually engage in conversations about this situation at PCHS, and monitor data regarding conflicts at PCHS on an ongoing basis, so that they can work to “create a safe environment” for students.
“Safety is the heart and soul of our policies,” he said.
Currently, the penalty for students who engage in fights at PCHS is a 10-day suspension from school.
Those penalties can increase to a 10-day suspension along with a hearing in situations where the fights are habitual or pre-meditated, Brewster said.

“We are taking this seriously and looking at the data we have,” Brewster said, adding that the high school administration is committed to making the necessary changes to ensure the safety of their students.

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Spike in number of fights at PCHS brings action

A recent spike in the number of student fights at Pulaski County High School has led administrative staff within the school system to take action.
The number of student fights at PCHS has been on the rise over the past semester, according to Dr. Tom Brewster, assistant superintendent of administration for the Pulaski County Public School system.
He noted that up until this school year, that number had been decreasing.
The administrative staff at PCHS really started to notice this increase in November, and began talking in December about a plan for the spring semester to help decrease the number of fights at the school, Brewster said.
Using data that includes the who, what, when, where and why about these fights, Brewster said the administrative staff at PCHS has developed a proactive plan that will go in to action on Tuesday, which is the first day of the spring semester.
Included in this plan of action is increased visibility. Administrators, teachers and staff at PCHS will make themselves visible in key areas of the school where there is heavy student traffic which can invite conflict, such as the locker banks and hallways during class changes.
Brewster said that in situations where there is increased visibility by adults, students will be less likely to engage in fights.
In addition, Brewster said the plans call for a different schedule configuration at PCHS, in which students will be released at the end of the school day in increments, instead of being released all at once, to cut down on heavy traffic in the hallways.
PCHS administrators and guidance counselors will also be visiting classrooms to discuss the penalties of in-school fighting, along with ways to avoid conflict.
Brewster said another proactive measure will be the formation of a group of “Cougar Ambassadors,” made up of PCHS students. These students will be trained in peer remediation, so that they can help their fellow students avoid conflict situations before they reach boiling point.
He added that there is also the possibility of expanding the program that is used for students who are drug and alcohol offenders, in which they meet with a counselor from New River Community Services. It would be expanded to include counseling for students who have been involved in serious fighting situations, to help them with conflict resolution, avoidance and awareness.
In addition, Brewster said that he and his fellow administrators plan to continually engage in conversations about this situation at PCHS, and monitor data regarding conflicts at PCHS on an ongoing basis, so that they can work to “create a safe environment” for students.
“Safety is the heart and soul of our policies,” he said.
Currently, the penalty for students who engage in fights at PCHS is a 10-day suspension from school.
Those penalties can increase to a 10-day suspension along with a hearing in situations where the fights are habitual or pre-meditated, Brewster said.

“We are taking this seriously and looking at the data we have,” Brewster said, adding that the high school administration is committed to making the necessary changes to ensure the safety of their students.

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