Many students at North Meck were thrilled to attend the homecoming dance on October 7th. Being the first in years, students bought outfits and made hair appointments. The Student Government Association (SGA) advertised on social media and set up a beautiful event. However, all their hard work was stomped out by yet another violent altercation. North Mecklenburg’s homecoming game against West Mecklenburg was impactful, but not because of the scoreboard. Instead, a group of students and their choice to engage in a fight affected the whole school. The long-awaited homecoming was rescheduled for October 28th, and new protocols were implemented. All guests under 21 at sporting events must now have an accompanying adult. Each adult can only watch four minors, and students must remain on their own school’s side.

As all these restrictions and regulations appear, it’s hard to see if it’s worth it. Students and staff want to raise school spirit and bring unity, but many students seem to go in the opposite direction. It seems like every student has either witnessed a fight first-hand, watched a video of it, or heard about it from a classmate. The physical violence isn’t unprecedented, but it’s still shameful and detrimental to North Meck as a whole. Yet, most students just want to feel safe and happy.

When it comes to the students themselves, they all have mixed views on the issue. 


While Charlotte Mecklenburg’s administrators aren't perfect, they are trying their best to not only make things enjoyable, but keep our schools safe. However they can only do so much, as said in an article by the Charlotte Observer. It's a well known fact that North Mecklenburg’s administrators have expressed their irritation when it comes to the rapidly growing case of physical violence on and off campus. If you haven't noticed yet, many school-wide events have been made “VIP only”, meaning if you didn't have a VIP card, you could not attend. To get the entree level pass, you need at least two merits, no more than two lockouts, and be passing all your classes. Administrators have taken this as an attempt to try and lower the bad behavior spreading on campus by encouraging students to try their best to earn these cards along with the perks they give. Even so, there has been a lack of events in general for several reasons, but a main one being simple exhaustion. Both staff and students alike are tired of all the stress that comes with handling violence on campus, and this bad behavior shouldnt be rewarded by any means.

“We know that the pandemic and its aftermath have created significant challenges for students, educators and their schools,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt said in a news release. “We’re taking aggressive steps to respond this year, and we’re seeking more resources for next year to provide students with the help that they need.” We are aware that these violent outbursts could be more than just blinded rage, but with the lack of students reaching out in a more communicative manner, and the violence continuing, North Meck can only be so forgiving.

"Assaults on school personnel rose 51%." "Drug possession reports increase 14.5%." "A total of 1,532 acts of crime or violence across all campuses in CMS were reported during the 2021-22 school year compared to 1,200 for the 2018-2019 school year, a 28% increase."

There has been an evident rise in student misconduct, as reported by the Charlotte Observer. North Mecklenburg High School has added body scanners, introduced a stricter lockout, and more to decrease this. But has it done anything? As seen with the homecoming game fight, not really. The schools can only do so much to stop malignant behavior.


After the North Mecklenburg high school homecoming football game, community members were left concerned for the safety of students and staff members. With the increasing rate of school violence in our community, how could one feel safe at a dance, where there are hundreds of chances for a conflict to begin? These are all valid and understandable concerns, and while consequences should be had in response to school violence, this physical violence should not preclude fun events. 

School functions are incredibly important to the well-being and development of adolescents. They allow students who normally don’t see each other outside of a school setting to spend time with each other without the stress of assignments or tests. School dances are a way for students to foster important social connections that are vital to one's mental well-being. These relationships have been proven to reduce anxiety and depression, as well as increase self-esteem. While these relationships can still be created outside of school dances, these events provide an important opportunity for students to get to know people who they wouldn’t normally interact with. 

The reasoning behind canceling school events due to physical violence is understandable. Parents, teachers, and students alike are fearful for their safety and want to take thoughtful precautions in order to ensure it. However, it is not the dances themselves that are dangerous, but rather the continuous pattern of school violence that exists regardless of whether our school hosts fun events. After the incident at the North Mecklenburg homecoming football game, the dance was rescheduled to later in October. The dance ended up being a success. The Student Government Association posted photos and videos from the night, with a caption that read: “We had a ball!” Rather than abandoning the homecoming dance altogether, SGA was able to host a safe and fun school event, while still addressing the physical violence that occurred. There should be repercussions and preventions for violence, but fun events should not be precluded as a result. Additionally, canceling school events due to physical violence is often indirectly punishing students who do what they are supposed to because of the actions of a small group of students who may decide to fight the day before the homecoming or the night before prom. Should people who have done what they are supposed to and spent money be forced to just take a school wide punishment for an incident that only involved a handful of students. This prevents students who had nothing to do with a given incident from having once in a lifetime experiences such as a homecoming dance. Additionally this causes unneeded animosity against the Charlotte Mecklenburg administrators from the students who feel unjustly punished.


As the North Mecklenburg SGA demonstrated, there is a way to host fun events in a safe manner. To prevent future violence at these types of events, it might be helpful to consider placing certain requirements to attend school dances and events. As with the Viking VIP celebrations, future school dances could require that students do not have recent ISS or OSS, or are a member of the Viking VIP club. This is one of the many ways that safety can be ensured at these events without taking away these opportunities from students who haven’t participated in school violence. Violence in schools is a serious issue, and should be treated as such. However, canceling fun events is not the solution, carrying out these events in a safe manner is. 🆅

The opinions expressed within this piece are solely the author's and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of North Mecklenburg High School or the Viking Voice.