Why self defense is sometimes criticized by authority figures? HS setting.
|Don't Fight Back! Beowulf project.
My project is to write a modern version of “Beowulf” dealing with a high school policy. In this story, Beowulf becomes a young teenager being faced off by the bully, Samson Grendel. Samson looks normal in every respect even though he’s a bully. Arthur Beowulf and Samson Grendel retain their original personalities throughout this story. This story takes place in a time when a person had the right to defend himself without being automatically suspended.
The halls echoed with hope that maybe Samson Grendle wouldn’t be back that year. But hope faded in the second week of school, when the menace arrived. Everyone wondered who his victim would be this year. Each of them prayed it wouldn’t be them.
A new kid that year, Arthur Beowulf, knew almost nothing of the school’s dread of the menace. Samson Grendel. Samson just loved picking on innocent new students, but when he chooses Arthur Beowulf, he didn’t realize that he would finally meet his match.
Arthur’s older brother, Simon, had been teaching Arthur to fight since he was about 8 years old. His brother had a black belt in a variety of martial arts, such as ... well, I’m sure you can think of a few.
Arthur became Samson’s first victim of the year. Things started as normal with taunts and jeers meant to annoy Arthur. During the first week of school, people had told Arthur about Samson and what he did to new kids. Still, nothing had prepared Arthur for this. As fighters, he and Samson were about equal.
The last straw cam during the third month when Samson first struck Arthur. Arthur’s yelling matched Samson’s and everyone huddled in close to see who was challenging Samson. “Who is it?” was whispered excitedly though the crowd. Then came “It’s Arthur, the new kid. I hope he can fight!” Of course, before the swinging could start, two teachers broke it up. Mrs. Thomesita, the algebra teacher, pulled Arthur back gently and then more forcefully when Arthur resisted. Mr. James Nolle, a gym teacher, was the one who took care of Samson. He had handled Samson on other occasions. All teachers were able to handle the situations with Samson, but Mr. Nolle and the vice-principle were usually the ones on hand.
One time when Arthur was at his locker, Samson threatened, “You’re going to get it. Better watch out kid!” Arthur mumbled something under his breath. “Speak up, Twerp!” Samson said sharply. Arthur laughed, “Why should I?” Samson’s voice dropped three octaves when he responded. “You’ll know. Better lock the doors.” “O-oh, I’m shaking!” Arthur threw back sarcastically. With a look, Samson shut him up and then Samson laughed. “Right, hot shot!” The only other sound in the hallway was nervous “chattering” of teeth. “Is it gone!” someone whispered. “Yeah! All is well,” responded another.
Calvin Johnson glanced around and then headed straight for Arthur. Calvin was a class clown when time permitted. He was also one of Arthur’s friends. “Arthur, are you nuts? You’re gonna get your face pounded if you keep talking like that” said Calvin. “By who? I could beat the likes of him.” Calvin shook his head. “A wise man knows when not to fight.” Arthur laughed but Calvin tried again, “No Joke!” Arthur fell silent.
Arthur’s’ boast spread like wildfire through the halls. Whispers came from all directions. “That’ll be the day,” as followed by “He’d better mean it,” and, of course, the ever popular, “Stupid, no one beats Grendal.” Everyone hope he could, but doubt was high. Calvin’s warning echoed in Arthur’s ears. Simon said that this was all up to Arthur to choose between a fight and being killed. Arthur knew then that he would fight.
Now, Samson was impatient for a fight. So, one day he just walked up to Arthur and screamed, “So you think you can beat me, do ya! I dare you to try –0 hot shot!” That’s when the fight began with the punching, kicking, blocking and yelling that happen during a fight. This was a school event, “the fight of the century!”
About half way into it, Samson pulled a compass out, giving him minor advantage. Then the strangest thing happened. Samson gave up, dropping it and opening himself up to the attack. With Arthur’s next punch, the fight ended. Calvin shouted, “Stop, it’s done! Give it up, he won’t bother you again, will you, Samson!” He mumbled and fighting his way through the students, left the circle with some bruises and a black eye.
A cheer of celebration shot through the crowd. Everyone cheered Arthur. The honor he was given by the students gave him the confidence nothing could equal. His popularity and amount of friends grew. Of course, Arthur didn’t let it go to his head. His studies would always come first and then his friends. Life was great for Arthur Beowulf.
The opposite was true for Samson Grendle. Having been suspended for using a weapon, Samson’s life was at ground zero. He felt like he was knee deep in quick sand and sinking fast.
The day of the fight, when Samson came home from school, the first thing his mother noticed was the shiner or black eye. “Samson, what happened?” asked Mrs. Grendel with concern on her face. “Oh, mom, it was this kid, Arthur Beowulf. He’s been harassing me at school. When he didn’t leave me alone, I tried to fight him off and this it what it got me,” he cried, gesturing to the shiner. “Oh, and this!” he said handing his mother the suspension notice.
It ordered for Samson to return to school, she and Samson had to meet with the principal the next morning. “We’re going to meet with Mr. Davis tomorrow morning,” she said with determination. “No, I’m not going back!” Samson argued. “Oh, yes you are, but after the meeting, if you decide to switch schools, I’ll let you!” came her response. Samson nodded his head.
At the meeting, his mother argued his case to a stunned principal. Her last questions was “What’s going to happen to Arthur?” “There’s nothing we can do. Arthur told us the opposite story and at least five kids are willing to back him up.” “Well, you haven’t heard the last from me, principal Davis!” With these words the meeting was over and Mrs. Grendle rushed from the office with Samson close at her heals. As they left, a few kids mocked them quietly. “Look at them go!” and “Where’s the fire?” rang out under their breath.
Mrs. Grendle’s faith in her son’s worlds was very strong. She truly believed that if he did threaten the boy with a compass, it wasn’t without reason. She took her case to the Superintendent and the school board. The case was regarding the punishment of Arthur Beowulf. As a result the school policy of suspending both parties of any fight on school grounds regardless of cause was put into effect. So, the next time you’re suspended for defending yourself or fighting back, remember that it’s all because of Samson Grendle.