SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Brutal and violent fights at Springfield High School are instilling fear in students and parents alike.
Students said fights that leave students beaten down and bruised are a nearly every-day occurrence, and parents said that instead of their children coming home and saying what they learned in school, they are talking about who is fighting who.
The fights are also often captured on video and circulate through social media, where students are exposed beating and kicking their classmates.
“There’s fights almost every single day, multiple people fighting one person,” said student Jorja Howard. “It turns into something bigger by being posted, and then everybody has the videos.”
JC, a parent of a student at Springfield High School, said his daughter made him aware that there is a deeper issue than what the school has been describing, and that the videos recorded of some of the fights prove that.
“The videos just shocked me. I can’t believe that they can call everything fine and unfounded when that kind of thing is going on,” JC said. “I don’t want anybody’s kid to have to go through what I saw in those videos.”
The videos have students and parents concerned for student safety. Greta Siecinski, a parent, said the school’s zero tolerance policy is not working, and Springfield High School has a bullying epidemic. She said she’s concerned she has to wait until her child comes home beaten down and bruised for the school to take action.
“Unfortunately, you know, as parents our hands are tied until something does happen,” Siecinski said. “I don’t want to wait until something does happen, but they don’t leave us a lot of options as parents.”
JC said he gives his daughter the option to come home and take a safety break if necessary because there is such a grave fear that the violence will reach his daughter.
“It’s criminal without a doubt,” he said.
Brian Richardson, Communications Director of Springfield Public Schools, said they have noticed an increase number of fights in the district, and they are trying to come up with successful ways for students to navigate these altercations, and avoid them all together.
“In this situation, really, as we’re still navigating the start of the new year, we’re assessing our practices,” Richardson said. “We’re continuing to make changes, making sure that we have increased supervision now out, having additional eyes throughout campus so we can spot any of these negative behaviors and really mitigate those impacts and really talk about how we can have a campus and a culture of belonging and acceptance.”
Richardson also said they are fortunate to have a good relationship with Springfield Police Department as well. Springfield Public Schools have a School Resource Officer that is also dedicated to navigating the schools, their systems, and building relationships with students to help them understand the impact of violent behaviors.
Springfield High School also has administrators and councilors on-site to help students navigate conflicts, and officials encourage students to reach out with any concerns.
“We take all incidences incredibly seriously,” Richardson said. “Safety is our top priority, so we want to make sure that we’re understanding the situation, so administrators get involved, talk with the students, really find out what happened, and work to take the next steps from there.”
Jennifer Singh joined the KEZI 9 News team in July 2023 as a news reporter. If you have any story ideas for Jennifer, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.