Increased violence opens eyes of administrators

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Violent altercations have been occurring recently in local school districts, resulting in parents being angry with administrations’ management of the incidents.

Maggie Peterson, Business Manager

After a string of sexual harassment, assault, and violence reports at Bettendorf schools, parents walked in protest from Bettendorf Middle School to Bettendorf High School for the school board meeting on Mar. 2. The parents protested in response to the school district not handling disciplinary action appropriately. 

Two parents spoke at the board meeting, Lauri Harsh and Jennifer Ruggles. They are concerned with the ways the district has handled recent and past school violence. There is serious distrust in the school board and administration and the board meeting brought more incidents of violence and misconduct to light. 

Ruggles’ son had his car stolen from the high school’s parking lot. She related that with her family’s situation and others’ there has been a lack of communication between victims and administration. 

Understandably, Ruggles was quite upset. As Quad City Times reported, Ruggles said, “What is going to happen next? What is the next level? Who is the next victim? And what are you doing right now, immediately, to prevent there from being another victim?” 

The second parent, Lauri Harsh, spoke of her daughter and another female student being touched  inappropriately by two male students in elementary school. Harsh was never notified of this incident and was disappointed in the lack of communication from administrators. WQAD reported, Harsh said, “My main concern and reason I am here today, I continue not to trust staff or administration because I was never, not once, notified of this incident with my seven-year old daughter.” 

But violence is not immune to PV either. In fact, a fight broke out in November of 2019 in the commons after a student instigated a verbal confrontation with another student which resulted in a fight ensuing between the two. Administration got involved right away for a plan of action and broke up the fight as quickly as possible. Parents additionally received a mass email about the incident and KWQC was given a similar statement. 

However, in cases like these, it is the school’s responsibility to take the best course of action to fully deal with the situation and prevent more violence in the future.

Last school year, offensive words and symbols were drawn on the wall of the boys’ restroom, related to racism, homophobia, and antisemitism. It was an ignorant and hateful act that enraged the student body and administration. This event occurred one year after PV was awarded the title of “Most Inclusive School in the Nation” presented by Varsity Brands.  

In Nov. 2019 a fight broke out in the lunch room of Davenport West High School between two male students. The fight resulted in one of the students hospitalized for his injuries and expulsion of the other student. 

No high school is immune to violence and altercations between students. But it is how the school and administrators react to the incident and inform parents that makes all the difference between trust and mistrust in a school district.