The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint-DISD image scarred by cage fighting tale

By Shelly Williams/se news editor

Bruised knuckles and black eyes from an unprotected head are evident as two young men step out of the “ring.”

This isn’t an ESPN boxing match with rules and regulations, but steel cage fighting in a public high school, and it’s sickening.

Applause clouded the background as South Oak Cliff high school students watched two of their peers “duke it out” in a small, confined area in the boys locker room. A 2008 investigation within the Dallas school district’s Office of Professional Responsibility reported officials “knew of the practice, allowed it to go on for a time and failed to report it.”

The caged fights took place between 2003 and 2005 as a way to settle disputes among problem students and were discovered during an investigation of grade-changing that cost South Oak Cliff its 2006 boys’ state basketball championship, Fox News said.

Former principal Donald Moten, head of the school during the time of the fights, denied it all as reported in an article by The Dallas Morning News.

“Ain’t nothing to comment on. It never did happen. I never put a stop to anything because it never happened,” Moten said.

The investigation revealed a school monitor who tried to battle a student in the cage, but Moten broke up the fight. Yet in a separate incident, Moten reportedly told security staff to put two teens who were already fighting with each other in the cage.

If students want to fight, have them participate in football or create a boxing or wrestling class for students to use their aggression in a healthy manner that won’t result in possible criminal charges.

Why did DISD hire a man like Moten? Those who want to learn and become something and those who want to teach should not have to suffer because of inadequate administrators and cage fights.

Teachers who formed a coalition against Moten and submitted a list of complaints such as allegations of inappropriate sexual advances toward female employees and guests to DISD officials in February 2006 can relax. Moten resigned last year from the district. Let’s hope the school district takes it as a sign to start fresh, even if it is one issue at a time.

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