Fulton Elementary Reacts To School Fight

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FULTON - Thursday marked one week since four fourth grade students returned to class at Bush Elementary after being suspended for fighting. Now, the principal, counselors, and teachers are working together to mediate the situation and prevent future fights.

The fight occurred in a bathroom when the boys were supposed to be in class. School officials are not sure how long the fight went on.

According to Superintendent Jacque Cowherd, older students now have less unsupervised activity. They have lost some flexibility to work in small groups and to leave the classroom for the restroom or library unsupervised. The school is also using a seating chart to resolve tension between students who don't work well together.

"They'll be on pace academically, but it's supervision, discipline, and structure," said Cowherd.

The district claims this was the first bullying incident at this school. School administrators are reacting with group counseling sessions Cowherd said are better described as class discussions.

"The counselor's have been working with these youngsters as far as their interactions with each other, their relationships, and consequences. It's very unfortunate all of this happened," said Cowherd.

A parent of one fourth grader said she's not worried.

"I've always felt safe with my son at Bush, and this doesn't change that," said Becky Schwinke.

But others knew very little about it.

"I didn't know anything about it until I read it in the paper," said Sarah Austin.

"My parents asked me about it. When I asked my kids, they just knew something had happened and some kids were in trouble," said Susan Case.

Cowherd said a fight like this one wouldn't have required theses measures in the past. Now, Missouri's Safe School's Act passed in 2005 requires district's to report third degree assault to law enforcement along with more serious crimes.