North Lawndale College Prep went the entire school year without a single fight on its two campuses.
“That means over 150 days without any physical altercation in the school,” school President John Horan said Friday at a peach march to commemorate the achievement.
They accomplished the feat with fewer security guards than years past.
“We think 899 kids being willing to tell on the one kid who brings a weapon is better than security guards, wands and treating kids like they're entering a prison and not a college prep school,” Horan said.
NLCP faculty and students credit a program called "Peace Warriors” in which the school trains 100 kids in non-violent conflict resolution. As freshmen, Peace Warriors learn Martin Luther King’s non-violence principles.
“Not only do we teach these principles, but we try to help students learn how to enact those principles in real life,” Interim Dean Marcus Thorne said.
Facebook is an example of a place where fights can escalate out of control.
Last month, Chicago saw a teenage girl, Endia Martin, get fatally shot as a result of a fight that first started on Facebook. Peace Warriors at NLCS are taught to de-escalate fights on social media.
“It's not about being cool. It's about doing what's right,” said Peace Warrior Asant’e Steele, who will be a senior next year. “Violence is not right.”
At times, Peace Warriors have to be brave enough to step between quarreling parties.
“He was about to fight this little girl that was about my size, and I had to jump in and break it up,” recalls Peace Warrior N’Christa Frills.