This is a good article I found from Black Belt Magazine Jan ’08
Across America, fights and suspensions in public schools are on the rise. A fight is any form of offense that involves two or more parties. Even if one person starts it, all are responsible if they engage in combat.
If someone punches you, aren’t you allowed to punch back in self-defense? In school, that depends. While your parents may have taught you to stand up for yourself and not let others get away with physical violence, the public-school system doesn’t agree. With few exceptions, if you engage in a fight, you’ll receive punishment that’s similar to what the instigator receives.
If you want to avoid trouble, you cannot engage in a fight. If attacked, you should run away. Once a punch is thrown, you may defend but not offend. Defending means you can effect a block or manipulate an attacker’s striking limb, but you can’t hit back. Doing so transforms a one-sided assault into a two-sided fight.
When is striking acceptable? Only when you’re cornered or pinned. Then you may use reasonable force to remove an attacker. However, once he retreats, you must stop. If you keep attacking, you become the offender. Forget about retaliating because that automatically makes you the aggressor. If an injury occurs, the cops will probably be called. If not, most schools will opt to follow their own procedures.
The final facet of fighting in school concerns age. If an 18-year-old student pounds a younger student, the 18-year-old student will have violated additional laws because he’s considered an adult, and the other student is a juvenile.
Your best bet is simply to avoid fighting. If someone threatens you, report him to an administrator. If he attacks you, shout or run for help. If you choose to strike back, be prepared to face the consequences.
Taken from article written by Joe Chianakas and published in Black Belt magazine, Jan 08.
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