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Reminders for dealing with a school fight

Submitted by PoliceOne Staff

Beware of the mob mentality

Regardless of who you’re dealing with, stay alert for signs that a group may be packing up against you, particularly if you’re solo. Also remember that just because you’re initially dealing with only a couple of people doesn’t mean that more won’t decide it’s time to jump into the fray. A mob mentality can surface very quickly, particularly if one person makes a move that seems to open the floodgates (in this instance, a punch to the officer’s head). If you see things starting to spin bad, keep a tactical retreat in mind as an option, based on smart officer safety and survival principles.

Don’t allow yourself to become part of “the show”

Having an audience can cause some to be more brazen than usual in an effort to show off in front of the crowd—particularly if you’re dealing with students. If you see someone showing signs of being combative, resistive, or just downright cocky be sure that you’re prepared to act swiftly, definitively and effectively to shut down that growing threat. Make sure you’re absolutely clear on when you can use force and when you see that it’s justified, be sure you’re mentally, physically and professionally prepared to act as necessary to control the situation.

If you’re dealing with fighting students, it’s not just the students you need to stay focused on.

It might be parents in the area who can be your biggest threat. In this instance, a parent was arrested for trying to obstruct the arrest of her son. In group fight situations like this, emotions run extraordinarily high and virtually anyone can end up involved. Juveniles fighting juveniles, parents stepping in and fighting juveniles, parents fighting parents…and everyone might end up fighting the police. The old adage of watching your back holds very true in situations like this one. If you’re dealing with breaking up a fight between a couple of students, stay extremely alert for threats coming your way from the periphery.

Remember the obvious.

Age doesn’t matter. Behavior does.

For more, read 10 safety reminders for handling school and student-related calls

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