HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — The trouble from the pandemic continues to seep into the school halls at several High Point located campuses.
School Resource Officers are reporting a drastic rise in fights before classmates.
School leaders, and law enforcement officers, have stated on multiple occasions that the “cabin fever” style effect of online learning has left a lasting impact on students, and their mindset this school year.
Cpt. Brian Hall said in September, “A lot of kids are coming back to school with pent-up frustration, after being remote for so long.”
Cpt. Hall oversees the SRO program for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. Since the beginning of the school year, his officers report more fights between large groups. “We see a lot more numbers now. It seems like it’s one group will have problems with another group.”
High Point Police have seen similar situations within the campuses they patrol. They’ve also begun to see a drastic rise in fights and assaults on students, across the board.
In 2018 there were 17 fights reported between two or more students, and 35 “Simple Assaults,” where one student attacks another student, unprovoked.
In 2019, there were 29 fights reported and 44 simple assaults.
So far, for the Fall 2021 semester, High Point Central SROs have reported roughly 30 fights between students at High Point Central High School, alone. The department reports roughly two fights per week.
These fights have appeared to happen at Southwest Middle and High School, Ferndale Middle School, and Central High School the most in that time frame.
In September, before these numbers were released, Cpt. Hall explained that the increase in fights was anticipated.
SROs have begun to put more effort into interacting, in positive instances, with students to make them feel more comfortable telling them what is going on in their halls.
“Being out there and talking to those students and building those relationships with them that will make them feel comfortable approaching you. It’s a lot easier to approach the officer who stands out in the common areas and high-five’s you and talks to you about your day, as opposed to an officer who sits in an office and only comes outside when it’s time to do business.”