SCS: number of fights are down, but community remains concerned

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Student safety and behavior specialists with Shelby County Schools met with WREG Thursday to discuss violence prevention.

"We look at the numbers, and our numbers show that it's working," said Ron Pope with the Office of Safety and Security.

SCS data showed fights were down seven percent to date.

The district said that number was based on current SCS schools compared to the same schools last year.

This number comes after two schools dealt with violent brawls this week.

Video surfaced of fights at White Station High School and Raleigh-Egypt High School.

"I don't buy it at all," said Shavon Tucker.

She said her cousin was suspended for fighting, after girls jumped her at school.

Even though SCS numbers showed in-school violence was going down, the perception out there was that fights were on the rise.

WREG spoke with a woman who mentored children.

She said school fights were"definitely" going up.

The SCS administrators said the district had tons of programs and procedures in place to keep violence out of hallways.

SHAPE was one of those programs, aim at keeping students out of juvenile court for minor offenses.

It aimed to be preventative by monitoring at-risk students.

SHAPE was in 21 schools, but White Station was not one of them.

"As we move forward into next school year, we're going to be reviewing data from all schools to see where the program should be," said SHAPE Coordinator John Hall.

In terms of perception, the district said more cell phones in students' pockets might be why the community was seeing more fight videos.

White Station's Facebook page suggested the media had something to do with it.

On Tuesday, it posted, "We are disappointed that the media feels this is newsworthy."

SCS wanted the numbers to speak for themselves.

"When we find something is going on, we're going to try and provide assistance to those students and to those schools," said Pope.

The SCS administrators said district representatives visited White Station the day after the fight to learn more about what went wrong.

The administrators also discussed "Project Prevent," which will go into effect next school year.

The district received a grant for the program which will put more interventionists into certain schools.