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It's a common situation is almost every school. When two kids get into a fight, they often both get in serious trouble.
Some say students who protect themselves in self defense should not be punished.
In most schools there is a zero tolerance policy. If you fight, you're going to be suspended.
Tennessee lawmakers are now taking up the issue of fighting in schools.
They're not discussing the all-out brawls in the hallways, but the other situations, where one kid only fights in self-defense.
The new bill would give principals the discretion to not discipline the victim.
"Why should they both be when you're only defending yourself," says Sen. Reginald Tate, (D) Memphis.
Senator Reginald Tate is sponsoring the legislation.
"And that was one way we came up with, giving that guy a chance who was actually the victim," says Sen. Tate.
We took the question to two high school students.
"If you are defending yourself, I feel like it is right, it is right of you because there are bullies in our schools that we have to deal with everyday," says White House High School senior Hannah Phillips.
"You should be able to fight back because it may get to the point where you could get severely injured, and you need to be able to fight back and to be able to save yourself," says White House High School senior Anika Eidson.
There are challenges. It may not always be easy to tell who started a fight.
The Professional Educators of Tennessee supports the bill. The group calls it common sense.
A kid shouldn't have to go to school and live in fear, they should have the same right you and I do out on the street to defend themselves," says Tim Brinegar with PET.
Supporters say it gives victims a fighting chance.
The bill passed the Senate Education Committee by a unanimous vote on Wednesday, but it has not been heard in the House.
It's important to note the ultimate decision will still rest with principals, who have discretion to impose punish after a thorough investigation.
For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn
Thursday, February 21 2013, 02:15 AM CST
Christian legal group complains about assignment
June 20, 2013 11:46 GMT
COLUMBIA, Tenn. (AP) -- Columbia State Community College officials say they're investigating a professor's assignment about gay rights.
According to The Daily Herald a Christian legal group sent the college a letter about Professor Linda Brunton's psychology class assignment. The Alliance Defending Freedom said students complained to the group.
Some students objected to being told to wear a rainbow ribbon and make statements in support of gay rights. They were then to write a paper detailing discrimination they faced for their perceived support.
The legal group asked the college to investigate the assignment, discipline Brunton and order her to apologize to students.
Chris Sanders of the Tennessee Equality Project told The Tennessean the assignment was voluntary and is commonly used in psychology classes.
Brunton was unavailable for comment.
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