ABSTRACT

It started right after lunch. The children finished eating in the school cafeteria and went outside to play until it was time to go back in for their afternoon classes. No one saw exactly how it started, but two kids began glaring at each other. Words were exchanged, insults were thrown back and forth. A circle formed. Other kids tried to separate the original two, but soon the fight was on (really only a wrestling match; no punches having been thrown). The principal had been outside, talking to a few teachers who had playground duty that day. He (it could have been a she, but not in this case) separated the now nearly exhausted and crying kids. (He was more than a little angry himself. It had been a tough day so far.) He grabbed them by their collars and took them into his office. But not just the original two. He pointed to another child who, like all the other kids in that circle, had excitedly and a little worriedly watched the fight, and yelled at all three to get to his office, NOW!