Self Defense Should Be Acknowledged In Flowers Disciplinary Policies – My Story

Disciplinary Policies And Altercation Prevention

Kamsi Oguguo and Editors: Oluwadamilola Afe

Is our Charles Herbert Flowers disciplinary policy fair for all students? How do you prevent these causalities from taking place? Imagine an incident that occurred on school grounds involving 3 students against 1 in the act of a physical altercation. In other words, 1 student is ¨jumped¨ by 3 other students. How should our school discipline that student who was ¨jumped¨?

In Charles Herbert Flowers, defense protocols should be accepted if one feels the need to do so. How can a student defend himself against 3 other students but still receives the discipline of those he defended himself against? In the Maryland school discipline laws and regulations, it states that ¨An in-school removal is not considered a day of suspension as long as the student can afford the opportunity to continue to participate with peers as they would in their current education program to the extent appropriate. A student may not receive an in-school suspension unless the student has been informed of the reasons for the suspension and has been allowed to respond before the suspension becomes effective¨.This student who defended himself was not allowed to respond to this suspension before the final decision was made that he would be suspended.

Most school staff believe that the students do not know how to exercise and fight for their legal rights, and they are correct. Students need to attain knowledge of their rights and regulations to not only physically defend themselves but to intellectually defend themselves from improper due process. According to the sixth amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America enforced in 1789, criminals are given the right to know who their accuser is and the nature of the charges and evidence against them. Since America promotes federalism, the states are given the power to create their laws. Maryland accepts the laws of the constitution and enforces them. In this case, the victim of the suspension is the ¨criminal¨. Not a criminal as in somebody who broke the law, but a criminal as substituted into the amendment topic. The victim was not given his proper rights which is not fair in terms of our American policy.

The victim narrated was me. I am Kamsi Oguguo, a Charles Herbert Flowers 10th grade – sophomore student. I am a “Project Lead The Way (PLTW) student with a G.P.A of 3.85 who was a victim of being ¨jumped¨ by 3 other students.

The incident started on a social media group chat created by me. It was a diverse group chat containing sophomore students around the school for friendly purposes. We used the group chat as a communication tool for different motives such as homework help, socializing, and making new friends. The group chat was a fun and safe place until last week Wednesday [12/8/21]. An argument broke out between me and another student named Marvin after he continuously insulted me. After being fed up with his insults, I allowed my anger to get in the way of reality and made a comment that changed the entire situation. At this point, I was already filled with anger and indignation flowing through my veins. This comment was reflected as a source of the physical altercation which could have been prevented if I did not allow their unavailing insults to impact me. If I could change one thing on Wednesday afternoon, December 8th, 2021 around 12:30 pm, it would be for me to put my phone aside and continue with my school day. After saying this comment, half of the group chat began exasperatedly. As they were trying to make me understand that I went too far, I was already permeated with anger and disregarded their words. Marvin and I went back and forth till finally, a sophomore student named Ishmael chimed into the conversation aggressively in an anger-like tone. Ishmael began to threaten me stating comments such as ¨wait until I see you outside¨. Of course, already filled with anger, these comments did not phase me. After I finally settled in class, I switched off my phone to continue with my instructional lessons making sure to not turn on my phone until dismissal time. About one hour later, my floor was called for dismissal and I packed my things to get ready to leave. As I was about to walk off school property, 3 of the boys from the group chat were standing aggressively waiting for me. I was not phased at all and I was with a friend that was a whole lot bigger than them. One of the boys started pushing and saying ¨come on, let’s get off school property¨, so I told him, ¨No, whatever you want to do, we can do it right here.¨ Immediately after that, one boy began to struggle to grab my legs to pick me up and drop me on the floor. Resiliently, I grabbed him in a headlock, attained my balance, and used my lower body to pressure him on the ground. As he was pinned, he began to tussle and pick himself up to oppositely pin me. As I began to tussle, I felt punches on my side coming from the other two boys. Although, I was focused on the one that was now grabbing my head in a counter-headlock position. After attaining my balance, I pressed him to the floor in which we were both pinning each other. He had me in a headlock while I was pinning him to the ground. Moments later, I was grabbed by a security guard escorted to the office.

My point here is that both parties (me and the boys from the group chat) both had specific parts played in the situation. There were things that I should not have said to them and there were things they should not have said to me. The physical altercation could have been prevented on my end if I had deleted the group chat after feeling like they were taking the joke too far. The altercation also could have been prevented if they stopped the jokes immediately when I asked them to or if they decided to socially solve the situation instead of bringing violence into it. Even though both parties were wrong, one side should be disciplined more than the other depending on who started the physical aspect of the altercation. In the United States, teaming up with somebody to physically harm another is unacceptable no matter the case. This act can cause severe injuries to the victim and can lead to greater consequences. I am not exasperated at the fact that I was suspended for the cause, I am just disappointed that the school did not allow me to express my rights and did not further adhere to the incident for investigation. Needless to say, there are specific and prominent steps that need to be taken to avoid these physical altercations. If you feel as though you are not being treated well socially, emotionally, or physically, it’s very important to let an adult know.

Let me know if you have any thoughts about the situation,