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Short Fuses: Do Some Sports Make Kids More Violent?

New research challenges the conventional wisdom that youth sports are universally beneficial for kids.

On the heels of the Olympics, while we're still giddy having witnessed all that astounding human accomplishment, while many high school kids—full of ambition—are just beginning to try out for their varsity teams, the connection between youth sports and violence is getting a closer look. Pump money into youth sports programs and you'll decrease anti-social behavior and fighting, right? Well, the truth is far murkier, points out Elias De Leon from Youth Radio.

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Relationships, Not Police, Make Schools Safer

Patrolling campuses and patting down students isn't what ends the cycle of violence on campus.

It's pretty difficult for a student to focus on school work if he's worried about whether he's going to get beat up by gang members between classes. So, in pursuit of school safety in high-crime urban areas, most districts either have their own police force, or allow city police on middle and high school campuses—which, of course, ends up making students feel like they're being treated like third strikers.

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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.

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