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By Matthew Eagan

Pix Provided by Matt Eagan '99

"This Picture is meant for comic relief"

Today, history was made. For the first time in my memory, the senior class was grounded. After consulting with the Sacramento County Sheriffs Department for the second time this year (the first was about the fake ids), the administration decided to ban the seniors from eating lunch off campus and cancelled the Jesuit dance this weekend. The reason? The recent fights at Ashton Park and a fight at the Loretto High School dance.

While the brutal violence and disrespect should not be tolerated, the punishment should fit the crimes. The fights last Friday at Ashton Park involved two juniors. Instead of just punishing the two junior culprits, the administration makes Ashton Park off-limits to seniors. The fights at the Loretto dance involved a very small number of students. Instead of just punishing the guilty few, the administration punishes every student from the local Catholic high schools who paid for tickets.

I do not understand what the administration hopes to accomplish by making Ashton Park off-limits. It surely is not the answer to stopping fights among Jesuit students. At the most, the action will ease the minds of residents who live near Ashton. They can rest assured that there will not be any fights during our lunch period. After school, people will still congregate in the park.

I have only one response to canceling the Jesuit dance: the Davis Graduate, better music, longer hours.

"This Picture is meant for comic relief"

The administration's logic is quite clear. If they punish everybody, then there will be enough group pressure to keep people from fighting. This would work if there were only about fifty people in all the Catholic high schools. However, we are a much larger group and in large groups there are always a select few who do not respond to group pressure. These few are the ones who cause problems. No matter how much the administration punishes the student body, we will not be able to stop every fight.

There has been an increase in violence this past week, to be sure. However, we should seek and destroy the cause of the fights, not student morale. I do not know why there have been more fights lately. Perhaps it is because of already low morale over the new schedule. Maybe we should blame television and the devil music that the kids listen to these days. I don't know how to stop the fights. I'm not sure that we can do anything at all. I certainly do not believe that punishing everybody will be effective. It may even have a negative impact and make the situation worse. Only time will tell.

I'm not worried about the widespread punishment, however. I never go to the dances anyway because I have a girlfriend who goes to a (GASP!) public school. Jesuit never seems to hand out guest passes anymore.

By the way, I wonder what Fr. Stiegler would do in this situation.

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