Fights warrant more than just mere forfeiture

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 8, 2003

Lakeland and Deep Creek high school soccer team will have to forfeit their final two games of the season because of a bench-clearing brawl that ended the teams’ game Tuesday night.

That’s certainly appropriate. There’s no place for this type of behavior in high school athletics, or anywhere for that matter. However, if it ends there, no lesson will have been learned, nor any example set.

Those who participated in the brawl should be subjected to the same punishment meted out to students who fight in school hallways.

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Playing fields are as much apart of school property as classrooms. If that’s suspension or expulsion, then so be it.

There has to be a zero tolerance policy toward such behavior.

Schools have to assume some responsibility for the protection of those under their supervision. The ones who caused and actively participated need to be removed.

Some might take exception that athletes, in the throes of exciting competition, should be given some slack. But all fights emanate from passion, whether over a girl, a boy or even drugs.

If school officials do not act to punish those students – and anybody else – who was involved in this embarrassing episode, then they are in effect condoning it. And it will happen again.