'I Get Scared To Go To School': Uptick In Violence In Baltimore County Schools Has Students Fearful & Parents Concerned
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) -- There's a major uptick in violence in Baltimore County Schools.
"I get scared to go to school," said Baltimore County School student, Ileana Nazario.
Videos from Dundalk High School are circulating online showing students fighting each other in the parking lot.
"They tackle each other to the ground. They fistfight and bleeding everywhere," said Nazario.
And students like Ileana Nazario say it's happening across the county.
"Kids getting slammed into walls getting slammed into lockers. I just get sick and tired of it. It's horrible, really horrible," said Nazario.
Wednesday, school leaders met with parents for a virtual town hall hoping to ease concerns over safety.
"Fighting among students is a problem that usually starts with unresolved conflicts. We know adults are key in helping students understand appropriate ways to deal with conflict," said April Lewis, Executive Director of School Climate and Safety.
The superintendent says this problem goes far beyond the county as students return to the classroom after more than 18 months of virtual learning.
"Schools across the country seeing an uptick in disruptive behaviors, stress the pandemic placed on children," said Superintendent Darryl L. Williams.
School officials say they have resources available for students like mental health counseling and social-emotional learning. They also have a comprehensive safety plan to prevent, respond to, and mitigate any violent behavior at every school campus.
"It's only getting worse," said former Baltimore County Public Schools employee, Hayden Borkowicz.
But some people say right now, it's not working.
"They just get all uptight and they start arguing back and forth and there's no authority figure to say 'hey stop it knock it off' and there's no consequences," said Borowicz.
When it comes to consequences, school officials say administrations handle these on a case-by-case basis and give the consequence they see fit including detention or suspension.
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