Channel 2 Action News has reported on dozens fights this school year across metro Atlanta, and schools have only been in session for about two months.
But one school district is taking a unique approach to solving the problem.
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Channel 2′s Justin Carter was at Creekside High School, where back in March, a 9th-grade girl was stabbed and injured in the cafeteria. She had to get stiches at a nearby hospital.
Two months earlier, two students were stabbed at Banneker High School, another Fulton County school.
The Fulton County School District has made changes, adding more of a police presence on campus. But Carter was also given an exclusive look inside Creekside’s new program teaching conflict resolution courses.
Dejaesic Zellars spent three years as a student resource officer at Creekside before he began teaching conflict resolution courses, which he said are changing the temperature at the school.
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The classes are designed to give students hands-on lessons in processing conflict, addressing social media conflict and cyber-bullying.
“You hate to see unfortunate events that happen, especially surrounding our juveniles,” Zellars said. “Its been in my experience, I’ve seen students talk on the cell phone and on social media, then have an all-out brawl because of that.”
He said his lessons in controlling anger and how to disengage are becoming effective and that more than 200 students are currently enrolled.
“As I tell them in the class, conflicts are unavoidable, but its how you deal with it that will determine if it’s a day in jail or a peaceful day at home,” Zellars said.
Parents like Casta Gonzalez say it’s a step forward.
“If the school is willing to help, then why not,” Gonzalez said.
The classes are just a fraction of what Fulton County is doing to curb violence in the schools.
Both Creekside and Banneker High Schools have two full-time Student Resource Officers on staff and have several security teams positioned throughout their buildings.