The Conflict That Lives In Us

Esau Duron

Photo by Esau Duron: Assistant Principal Lindsey Young takes a moment to express her thoughts about handling student conflict in the best manner for the best outcome.
Photo by Esau Duron: Principal Coleman Bruman shares his methodology for addressing and fizzling out student conflict and steps for better student rapport.

Are our lives perfect? The answer is no. We are not perfect, therefore, conflict arises because we have different life experiences, opinions and emotions.  Our lives are different at school and especially at home.  Kids come to school with an array of emotions such as anger, joy, sadness and hate.  We all feel different, so we should accept each other’s boundaries.  However boundaries are crossed and the conflict begins.  Perhaps, to make someone’s day is to give a compliment and not get mad if they do.

In an interview with Assistant Principal, Lindsey Young, she detailed how conflict between students are resolved by bringing them into the office to discuss each side of their story.  Through this opportunity, each party is able to discover what the real issue is and then find a solution which, surprisingly, often at times may lead to walking out with a new found friendship because of that newline of communication has been established.

“A lot of times we will bring them in and we just kinda hear each side of the story first and we give them a chance to speak their own line. A lot of the times it is put in writing, that way we have it and reference it back so when we are trying to get all of the details in the story, that way they know that everyone’s side has been heard.”  As well, I make an effort to get to know student’s like how their morning is going, what kinds of responsibilities do they have and what are they struggling with most.  High school is hard and requires you to balance a lot but prioritizing is key at decreasing personal stress,”  said AP Young.

Young also expressed that most disagreements are started by students being rude to each other on social media or betting on stuff they cant pay for.

“Teens making poor decisions are the leading cause of student conflict,” Principal Coleman Bruman said.  He has an initiative to decrease conflict among students by having teachers conduct a weekly classroom discussion and reflection on a quote and thought of the day that promotes better decision making and leadership skills.  This tool referred to as “Character Counts” also helps teachers engage in discussion with students regarding their own personal conduct and accountability.

Bruman said, “When I walk the building, if you make eye contact, I make eye contact back.  If you wave, I wave back.  If you smile, I smile back.  Paying attention to the details or if it’s a student that I know is having struggles…you can tell their eyebrows are pinched and walking around looking mad so I will go ask them how they are doing today and sometimes they are able to talk to you and they’re not mad anymore.”

Also, conflict may be caused by school related stress from the demands of assignments, test and projects which causes pressure.   Students thinking that they don’t have time and feeling rushed to meet deadlines because their grades depends on it creates teenagers that are easily ticked off.  Sometimes if we are mad or upset because of what we are experiencing in life, just a simple talk with a caring adult can make it right instead of making assumptions.

Mrs. Chairez,  Forensic Science and Biology teacher said, “I think that yes, it does lead to a lot of stress in school, a lot of stress in your lives, but I think it’s the social aspect that gets you more worked up than the school work.”