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LUHS Officials Say They've Slowed A Fighting Problem


Some in the community still believe there are daily fights at Lakeland Union High School. Nothing could be further from the truth, says Assistant Principal Justin Szews.

He shed some light on the true situation. Six years ago sixty-five students were called on the carpet for fights. This past school year it was just twenty students. That’s a seventy percent drop in student referrals, Szews said. The number of fights is down seventy-four percent.

“It’s not like it was 20 years ago, 30 years ago, not even six years ago. Nope, not everyone gets into fights. Nope, there’s not a fight every day. We are creating a better environment in regards for kids being safe. If they’re not safe, they’re not going to learn.”

His remarks to the school board this  week underscores progress in reducing physical altercations – scuffles, hard shoves, thrown punches -- at the 700-member school.

School officials are putting more staff resources into the problem and students are calling out others for misconduct. This year students can download a school-provided app for their “smart phones” to anonymously report bullying and harassment.

The school saw a marked increase in the number of drug and alcohol referrals this past year, 33 this past year compared to 10 the year before. The school's absenteeism was just under 9 percent, compared to 23 percent back in the 2010-11 school year.

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