Fighting


Fighting (FIT) - Level III

Definition:

When two or more persons mutually participate in use of force or physical violence that requires physical restraint or results in injury.

Examples

  • Student or other engaging in a fight/combat with another and physical restraint is necessary to stop it.
  • Student becoming engaged in a fight which results in the need for first aid or medical attention for one or both of the participants.

Non-Examples

  • Student engaging in "horseplay."
  • Student verbally confronting another student/teacher.
  • Student or other engaging in pushing and shoving who is easily separated or stopped.
  • Student or other engaging in a fight which is resolved without injury or need for physical restraint.

Additional Guidelines

Note: This is a "Violent Incident if it Results in Bodily Injury" and must be reported in the related element "Injury-Related".

Note: Schools may want to document lower levels of fighting such as the non-examples listed above on their local student discipline referral form.

Serious incidents involving mutual participation should be reported as Fighting, without regard to who was the original aggressor, unless the guidelines for reporting the incident as a Battery apply.

Fighting should be reported to SESIR if at least one of the following occurs:

  • Verbal intervention does not stop the fighting and physical restraint is required. For guidance as to who should intervene by using physical restraint, staff should follow local school board policies and procedures.
  • Someone is injured, requiring immediate first aid or subsequent medical attention as a result of the fight.

FAQ

How do we code a fighting incident in which no physical injury occurs and physical restraint is not needed to break up the fight?

  • Unless the “fight” results in the need for first aid or medical attention or requires restraint, the fight should NOT be reported as a SESIR incident of Fighting. A local code of physical altercation or local lower-level fight should be recorded.

Why is it important to have local codes for physical altercations that do not meet the SESIR Fighting threshold/definition?

  • If the district does not have local codes for lower-level incidents that do not meet the SESIR definition for fights, all such incidents will be coded as SESIR incidents and the district will be over-reporting in these areas.

We have a fight that appears to be Bullying-Related. Upon investigation, we determine that the Bullying is unfounded. Do we code the incident as Fighting and Unsubstantiated Bullying? Or do we just remove the Bullying-Related from the Fighting incident?

  • Since the fight appears to be more serious, code the incident as Fighting and remove the Bullying-Related designation. The incident should also be reported as Unsubstantiated Bullying in addition to Fighting - this appears to create two incidents (FIT and UBL), but it does not - the Unsubstantiated Bullying (UBL) is considered a non-incident and does not count toward the incident totals for the school/district.

Contact

Office of Safe Schools 325 West Gaines Street, Room 554 Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
Phone: (850) 245-0416
Fax: (850) 245-9978

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