Tumultuous brawls are a fact of life. Today, fights that “might have been between two individuals” can grow into “melees involving up to 40 or 50 people,” according to Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman. Roving packs often attack individuals, and police have had to use chemical irritants to break up what they call “riots.”
Teachers fear for their safety. In the last school year, a vicious student assault landed one in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury. Another was punched repeatedly in the chest, while another required staples for a head wound. One high school has issued emergency whistles to teachers and assigned a guard to every floor. A teacher who was crushed into a shelf in a classroom invasion now instructs her students to use a “secret knock” to enter her classroom, according to City Pages.