A fight that broke out at a game between the Brick Township High School Dragons and Brick Memorial High School Mustangs last weekend “tarnished our image as a community,” Interim Superintendent Dennis Filippone said, but the district has plans to curtail incidents between the two schools.
Filippone said the district will now enforce a policy not to allow any “innapropriate saying” on signs or clothing items brought to games. Last week’s fight was traced by witnesses to fans of one of the football teams stealing a flag brought by fans of the other. There were also reportedly chants by Brick Township students saying they “own” the town because their side won the game.
“I know that we have great kids in this school district in both high schools, and I know they will come out of this as better people,” Filippone said. “We cannot fall into the trap of saying, ‘kids are kids.’ It is our job and our duty to do better than that.”
Approximately 10 students were suspended over the fight, which was originally recorded on Snapchat but later saved and uploaded to other social media websites.
A lengthy discussion was spurred by the incident, with blame being placed in numerous areas.
“It’s the parents that have to control this,” said resident Nan Coll, to school board members. “You, alone, can do nothing. I think you need to call in the parents of all of those children.”
Former board member Larry Reid said the incident proves there should be more participation in extracurricular activities, instead of a backlash against school sports.
“I think it gives the student a chance to learn a chain of command, authority, teamwork and sportsmanship – all the things that are not taught in the classroom,” said Reid. “I think one of the problems is that we have students who aren’t involved in after-school activities and have a lot of time on their hands to be involved in social networking.”
Christian Brando, one of the student representatives to the board, said his classmates are already trying to mend fences.
“At the soccer game, both teams took a photo together to promote unity,” Brando said.