Cage-fighting: the new alternative dispute resolution for schools

March 27, 2009

criminal law, disciplinary

Source: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/032009dnmetcagefolo.3cd76bd.html; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/19/south-oak-cliff-high-scho_n_177180.html; http://www.hsgametime.com/dfw/sharedcontent/dws/content/topstories/stories/022109dnspohssoclede.36c49001.html ;

Read the report here: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/img/03-09/0318cagefight.pdf  

According to investigators, between 2003-5, staff at South Oak Cliff High School (based in Dallas) forced students to “duke it out” bare knuckle style in a steel cage while other students clapped and screamed (the “cage” was apparently a section of the boys’ changing room barricaded by wire mesh and steel lockers).

The report was produced by Frank McCammon, an investigator with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD). Ironically, the fighting came to light as a result of a separate investigation into grade-fixing at the school in order to allow students to continue to play for the school basketball team in the 2005 and 2006 seasons. McCammon’s report (first obtained by The Dallas Morning News), describes two instances of pupils fighting in the cage with no head or eye protection, however it was not clear from the report what the extent or duration of the fighting was, or whether anyone required medical attention. In March 2008, the DISD submitted the report to district officials, the Dallas County DA and the police department. Shockingly, no charges were ever brought against school staff as the statute of limitations had run out by the time the cage fights were discovered, although apparently “discipline” (whatever that means?) was taken.

When questioned by the Dallas Morning News, Donald Moten (the school’s former principal who resigned last year following the grade-fixing allegations) denies that any fights ever took place.

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About Kris

Senior Lecturer in Law, Staffordshire University; British Gymnastics Senior Coach / Assessor / Tutor

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