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SESIR Codes & Definitions
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Fighting (FIT) - Level III


When two or more persons mutually participate in use of force or physical violence that requires either physical intervention or results in injury requiring first aid or medical attention. Lower-level fights, including pushing, shoving, or altercations that stop on verbal command are not required to be reported in SESIR.


  • Student or other engaging in a fight/combat with another and physical intervention 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.


  • 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 intervention.

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 should document lower levels of fighting such as the non-examples listed above as locally-defined incidents.

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 an Aggravated 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 intervention is required. For guidance as to who should physically intervene, 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.


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

  • Unless the “fight” results in the need for first aid or medical attention or requires physical intervention, 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.


Office of Safe Schools
325 West Gaines Street, Room 1302
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
Phone: 850-245-5173