Does Panther Creek allow us to defend ourselves?


The teenage years are a rough time for many. The American psychological association reports that more than 1 of every 4 teenagers go through depressive, and overwhelming feelings (1). Along with these wild feelings and raging hormones come very inflammatory actions. Sometimes this teenage aggression goes too far and it puts other teens in danger. What do you do when another teenager directs their aggression at you?

Say you get a threat. A fellow student sends a message that you will, “feel their wrath.” How do you go about handling this situation? Well let’s use myself as an example. I received this message from my friend last Friday where he told me that a student said, “Tell Aden he will (expletive) feel my wrath.” I had the weekend to ponder what this meant and what my course of action should be. I decided it’d be best to let the school know because if a fight did happen, I would want it to be clear who was the aggressor and who was the victim. I came in school Monday, went to student services, and told them about what happened. The administrator told me that it was a serious threat and he escorted me to first period. I didn’t see the angry student that day but let’s say I did- what should I do? What if I had gone to lunch that Monday and he’d been waiting for me with a fight in mind- then what should I do? Can I fight back? Does Panther Creek allow us to defend ourselves? Or will we get suspended for any sort of reactionary aggression?

The answer lies in something called reasonable force (2). Think of it as minimum self-defense. You are allowed to defend yourself in a fight but only to the extent necessary. You will be punished for any extra aggression or escalation but it is within your rights to defend yourself. That’s the answer- reasonable force. I was talking to fellow students about reasonable force and they told me about times where students were suspended for it. If you are ever in a situation where the school or an administrator tries to take disciplinary action against you for self-defense, direct them to policy code 4309 G II-15 and make your case that your actions were necessary for self-defense.