Slightly Alarming: Middle School Students in Washington Start a Real-Life "Fight Club"

Almost 25 boys at a Tacoma, Washington campus have been regularly meeting up in a school bathroom—to give each other organized, timed beat downs.

The Social Network director David Fincher once described his 1999 film Fight Club as being about "a guy who does not have a world of possibilities in front of him, he has no possibilities, he literally cannot imagine a way to change his life." Maybe this description of despair, which afflicted Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in the movie, is what's wrong with a group of boys at Steward Middle School in Tacoma, Washington. Instead of attending an after school program, almost 25 boys have been participating in a real-life fight club. They've been meeting up in a school bathroom for months just to beat each other down. And they've been filming the fights on their cell phones.

The fight club only came to light last Friday night after one of the boys broke "the first rule of Fight Club" and talked about what was going on. His aunt asked him what he liked to do after school, so he showed her cell phone video footage of some of the fights. The aunt—who wants to remain anonymous—went to Seattle's Fox News Q13 and gave a reporter the footage. The station aired it on Sunday night, and the school responded by suspending nine sixth graders that they could positively identify.

Tacoma Public Schools representative Dan Voelpel said that just like in the film, the student fights were timed and had similar rules, like no hitting in the face. The few students who are talking to the media say the fighting was just for fun. One anonymous boy told Q13 that everyone in the club is friends with each other, and,

"if anyone was really getting hurt, all they had to do is say stop...and that's when it would end the fight. There was maybe like a small bloody lip but no one was really crying and stuff."


And, being in the fight club was appealing because

"if you are one of those kids that always gets made fun of and stuff…If you fight...If you win some…You'll earn more respect."


Crazily enough, now the student's parents are angry over the suspensions, and they want the school's principals and teachers punished instead—they say the school should have known about the fights. One father, who would only identify himself as "Morgan" said if the parents "would not have come and made mention of this, there still would have been a fight scheduled today, in the restroom of this school." Instead of suspending his son, the school should have let him handle it.

The school's solution for ending the fights? Voelpel says they'll beef up bathroom monitoring, and they're going to lock the restroom at the end of the regular school day. Unfortunately, neither that, nor the parent outrage over the suspensions, addresses why the kids were fighting in the first place.

Need proof that the fighting goes way beyond normal kid roughhousing? Watch the video below.


Seventy-five years ago, on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

Auschwitz was the deadliest of Nazi Germany's 20 concentration camps. From 1940 to 1945 of the 1.3 million prisoners sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. That figure includes 960,000 Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans.

The vast majority of the inmates were murdered in the gas chambers while others died of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and executions.

Keep Reading
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
via Stu Hansen / Twitter

In a move that feels like the subject line of a spam email or the premise of a bad '80s movie, online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa is giving away money as a social experiment.

Maezawa will give ¥1 million yen ($9,130) to 1,000 followers who retweeted his January 1st post announcing the giveaway. The deadline to retweet was Tuesday, January 7.

Keep Reading