Sometimes kids set themselves to fight and you can tell they don't really want to, but you can't be sure. There's a ritual to City school fights, where a lot of jawing and "your mammas" ends up with two boys standing cheek-to-cheek, their heads actually tilted in, an intimate almost conjoined connection. They wait like that, like gunslingers, for someone to make the first move so the swinging can commence. Sometimes the swinging never commences, and they start clenching because neither boy wants to fight, they want the teacher to come over and get between them. This way they can say they stood their ground but they don't really have a chance to get hurt.
Two of the biggest sixth graders performed this silly dance in my room yesterday. Gregorious and Talons started jawing as soon as we walked in from lunch, and then they were standing touching cheeks together. I rushed over as much smaller kids pulled on my arms and pleaded "please don't stop this one, please let them fight, we want to see this one, please!" I got between them just as the clenching/wrestling started, and then Talons decided to throw a punch at Gregorious after I got there, like a true pussy. The weakest most frightened kids do that, throwing a sucker punch in effect when the fight is over and they can't get hit back.
As is often the case, Talons' punch missed his target and hit me in the jaw. Even though he packs a good 160 pounds, he didn't do any damage or even really hurt me, but I went ballistic. I grabbed a handful of shirt and threw him into a chair which slid across the floor. I turned and howled at Gregorious to get out and then I hauled Talon by the ear down to the AP, with Gregorious five paces behind us and following.
Of course, true to form, they were sent back to class ten minutes later.
Exactly two weeks until Xmas break. Oh, yeah. Hot diggety!