Grant McGee: Local columnist
A friend just told me about her son getting beat up at one of our High Plains schools. No need to go into detail of who, where, when or even why. The end result was a trip to the emergency room, stitches, a chat with police, and the family wondering how to keep it from happening again.
I’ve never understood school violence; after all, this junk is happening right in the place where kids are supposedly learning how to get along in society.
And it seems the fights of today are far more dangerous than in times past.
I really didn’t want to fight when I was a kid. I was afraid my glasses would get broken. But somehow the fights found their way to me. Once I got whipped at a Boy Scout meeting, another time by a neighborhood kid.
Both times I was done in by a leg lock.
I can’t remember how I ended up in a fight in sixth grade but this kid just started slugging me during a softball game. I stuck out my arm and held my hand against his forehead, so he couldn’t hit me. Then he tripped, fell backward and landed on his back. I went over and sat on his chest.
“I win!” I yelled. I turned and waved to all my friends who were watching and laughing. The kid left me alone after that.
My last school fight was in seventh grade. It started in science class while the teacher was out of the room.
I don’t know what it was about but it was with Reggie, some kid who was on the low end of the junior high football totem pole.
“Meet me after school and I’ll kick your butt,” he said.
Tired of being hassled and pushed around, I said I’d be there. Wow, what had I done? This is it, a real after-school fight. My glasses might even get broken.
I had visions of me and Reggie locked in battle. Dust would be flyin’ around, my pal Catfish would be hangin’ on the sidelines giving me tips on getting in good jabs. In the end I would be victorious, I would put Reggie in a leg lock. It would be a good leg lock too, payback for all those times I got my tail whipped with the same maneuver. I would automatically be put on the football team, even though I didn’t know how to play, and I would win the hand of Lydia Przewalskiorskidubanski, the girl all the guys in school whispered and smiled about.
As it turned out, Reggie didn’t show up, but three of his pals did. And my buddy Catfish? He was nowhere around.
“I guess you win by default,” said Big Dan, one of Reggie’s compadres. Then all three turned around and walked away, leaving me standing behind the school by myself, my glasses unbroken.
After that day Reggie and his pals didn’t hassle me as much as they used to.
But I hassled Catfish for not showing up to be my coach.
I didn’t understand school violence then and I sure don’t now; after all, aren’t we in the 21st century?
Shouldn’t we have learned to behave better by now?
“It’ll never change,” said The Lady of the House.
“It’s all about establishing a pecking order.”
They don’t know this stuff they’re fighting about doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
It really doesn’t.
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: