Fight Club May Shutter Student Bathrooms

Group of Students Plan, Gather, Fight, and Watch Boxing Matches Between Peers On and Off Campus


Image courtesy Triton High School

A copy of an email sent by Triton High School’s Principal Patrick Kelley, after discovering the fight club. The email was sent to parents, students, and teachers.

A so-called fight club involving a group of Triton students was discovered on October, 19 and has led to different levels of punishment for those involved. The fights were staged both in the Triton boys’ bathrooms as well as outside of school, where students of different ages would bring boxing gloves to fight, record, or just watch matches between students.

Triton’s administration took action immediately after finding out about the incidents. Principal Patrick Kelley started meeting with the parents of the students and the students involved. Kelley also sent out a mass email to all teachers, administrators, students, and parents in the Triton School District informing the public and asking for any information about the issue.

“The simple fact of fighting on school grounds, whether you’re looking to harm someone else or fight for fun, regardless of what it is, it’s dangerous,” said Kelley in a recent interview.

The process of the ongoing investigation involves collecting any and all names of students involved, whether they were the ones fighting, recording, or simply watching. Videos and pictures have been collected as well as information from teachers in nearby classrooms.

Kelley would not say what direct action is being taken against the students individually, but repercussions involving cutting back bathroom access are being discussed.

Some students may have noticed Mr. Chris Lamothe, the athletic director’s assistant, standing outside the male bathrooms. This is because Kelley wants more eyes in more places. Assistant Principal Joseph Celia said that within the two weeks Lamothe has been present, they’ve noticed nearly a 70 percent decrease in inappropriate behavior in the bathrooms.

Students who use the male bathrooms may also face another change as it’s still being decided if one of the bathrooms will be closed so it’s easier to monitor and prevent something like the fight club from happening again.

Another option being considered is reducing the number of students in the bathroom at once. According to Celia a sign will be posted outside the boys restrooms stating that only five students may enter at a time.

Other steps administrators are taking involve gathering funds to recondition the bathrooms. Their goal is to make them look nicer so students don’t feel the need to gather. Celia describes the bathroom situation as the “Broken Window Model.”

“If you have a dilapidated building or a dilapidated place in a building, trouble will gravitate to that spot.” said Celia, “So if we clean up the bathrooms, that may have a ripple effect on what we hope is more positive behavior.”

The students involved won’t be facing any legal consequences. Because of the changes to the juvenile laws a few years ago, Kelley said that there is less legal action that can be taken against the minors fighting on school grounds.

“If this same incident had happened six years ago the outcome probably would’ve looked very different.” said Kelley

However the police are aware of other fights that have taken place outside of school. Triton is not the only victim to this incident as fights have occurred behind Salisbury Elementary, and at a park in Rowley. Kelley also spoke to the principal of Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, New Hampshire, after hearing something similar was going to take place there.

Even before the club started, the male restrooms were a hot spot for illicit activities among groups of students. Vaping and smoking plagued both the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms, Additionally, stall doors have been ripped off, locks broken, urinals used as trash cans, and more disgusting activities. “We do believe that the state of the bathrooms are in such distress that it’s not a welcoming environment, so we want to fix up the bathrooms so that we can take pride in our school,” said Celia.