The news was startling. The rumors were a cause for concern. But the overreaction was disappointing.
Following a fight on Thursday at East Wake High School, school leaders issued a robocall in which they explained that there had been rumors that the fighting may continue the next day.
Fights in school are not that unusual. They happen more than we might like to admit. Most of them, though, don’t involve non-students who come to the campus apparently for the sole purpose of starting a fight.
In light of the rumors, though, additional Wake County Sheriff’s deputies were on hand, along with extra staff from the school system’s own security contractor and extra school officials as well. East Wake was, for all practical purposes, one of the safest places in Wake County the day after the fight.
Still, parents arrived at the school en masse to take their students out of class, lest the rumors prove true.
In doing so, the thugs won another round in the battle between good and evil. They maintained control over the facility even without having to throw another punch.
According to school officials, some 545 students among the 1,453 enrolled in the school, left early that day. That doesn’t include those who may have stayed at home in the wake of the rumors, nor does it include those who simply left campus without checking out properly. Still, basedon just the official numbers alone, that’s almost 38 percent of the student body which lost a day of instruction, despite being in a place with an unusually high level of security on that day.
We get that parents ultimately have control over their children. Even the 900 or so who stuck out the day, lost an opportunity learn because classrooms were buzzing with departures and teachers couldn’t justify teaching a lesson they were going to have to reteach later because so many had missed it the first time. It seems to us parents could have taken a calmer approach to the situation last week at East Wake. Doing so would have relegated the fight the day before to little more than a dumb reaction by people not smart enough to resolve their differences amicably.