News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Food Fight Epidemic Hits South Lakes High School

belushi.jpegFollowing in the footsteps of kids at other county schools, a "small group" of students at South Lakes High School started a food fight on Wednesday. In a letter to parents, Principal Bruce Butler warned that any student observed participating in a food fight will be "suspended for five days and, if possible, charged by the police" -- which is exactly what happened at Centreville High School earlier in the week.

From Butler's letter to parents:

Food fights are not a joke, they are incredibly dangerous events which endanger all students. Our children at the greatest risk are those with physical and intellectual disabilities. They may not, or in some cases cannot, move out of the way of hundreds of students who dash away from the flying food.

This type of behavior is absolutely counter to both our school's and community's values. It also reflects a decadent indifference to the selfless dedication of our custodial staff and the importance of having food to eat when many do not.

Please take the time to discuss this issue with your child tonight. I realize that today's incident was the result of the actions of a small group of morally corrupt students. That said, I will not allow groups of student to jeopardize the safety of others.
Fairfax County schools have had an epidemic of food fights of late, and Butler's absolutely right that they're not harmless fun. But the last time we heard the term "morally corrupt" used to describe teenagers, it was in a 1980s movie about a town that outlawed dancing. Can we go with "boneheaded and thoughtless" instead?


  1. Yes, wow. Morally corrupt is harsh. More like had a moral hiccup while the sloppy joes begged to be thrown.

  2. That was a good description of the ruckus.

    However, the name-calling ("morally corrupt") is only going to get made fun of for years to come. I wouldn't be surprised if the "small group" of students all get ironic t-shirts that say "morally corrupt" on them. "Boneheaded" and "thoughtless" will be written on their ironic nametags.

    But nonetheless the principal makes several incredibly good points. Don't waste food - be thankful and grateful that you even have food. Don't exploit the defenseless. Once you make a mess, you can't just delete it. And the custodial staff shouldn't have to clean up. I hope the small group had to do some cleaning around the school in order to gain an appreciation for the custodial staff.

  3. I laughed when I saw the "morally corrupt" but I howled when I saw "decadent indifference" in the Principal's principled comments. In my mind, I now cast the evil young scholars in Edwardian dress (18th C. royal French with pale makeup was a close second) stepping over the downtrodden, yet-to-be-organized custodial proletariat, the girls carelessly brushing tater tot remnants from their silken ruffled cuffs while the boys make certain that their lapels and top hats are free of processed cheese debris. This gilded age image soon to be a WETA/FCPS reality show. I smell Emmy!

  4. I think the only "morally corrupt" group are the thoughtless boneheads that think "kids being kids" is somehow criminal. One food fight is a scolding and maybe a detention for the organizers and the truly rowdy. But I doubt that the threat of suspension -- or even Capital Punishment -- is going to put too much of a damper on the "irrational exuberance" of teenagers.

  5. Next up, Zero Tolerance. Food fights will be classed with carrying a gun to class. Middle class kids expressing childish exuberence will have their college chances ruined for tossing a tater-tot.

  6. As a graduate of SLHS, I would encourage Mr. Butler to take a sedative and fan himself before he swoons from the vapors. There has been much worse at South Lakes than food fights. Specifically, the years that seniors removed all the walls (when the classroom clusters had full height partitions vs. actual walls) from the Orange subschool. Or the year the Seniors started a paint fight during the annual bleacher painting. Other notable activities included putting live crabs in the toilets in one of the subschool girls' bathrooms, and reassembling an entire car inside the Orange subschool.

    His statement would be less of a joke if he had simply stated that the behavior was unacceptable, that it caused a dangerous situation for the students, and that those held responsible would be subject to punishment as deemed appropriate.

    His attitude reflects the general and undeserved superiority complex of the district as a whole.

  7. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMay 26, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    I think the only student in the Fairfax County school system to whom I would apply the terms "morally corrupt" and "decadent indifference" would be the 12-year old princess bitch whose false accusations of sexual abuse nearly destroyed the life and career of that phys ed teacher, as reported in the Post a week ago.

    And well said, scubadiver and Anon 4:42, about the nanny state overkill alive and well in Fairfax County.

  8. My kid said it started between the Black kids and Hispanics with the white and disabled kids stuck in the middle...and then a bunch of white kids joined in as well. We did immediate laundry after school due to the food on said kid's clothes. Mr. B was most pissed about the danger to the disabled kids. For those who think he "only" cares about the IB kids, you need to spend some time around him with the disabled community. He is most outraged on behalf of the most vulnerable. Would that we all cared so much.

  9. Talk about abuse of power! It's festering around the FCPS system like a plague. Innocent teachers punished by lying kids (who don't get punished), and some kids committing suicide by the extreme disciplinary actions taken against them.

    Way to go FCPS! Way to go!

  10. Very interesting anonymous. Mr. Butler in his attempt to paint SL as a place where everyone gets along and we have no gang problems and everything at our diverse school is hunky dory...went a little ballistic.


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