Parents these days. It seems many of them just can't behave in school. The latest case in point: Two dads got into a bloody brawl at Harton Primary School in the U.K. shortly before their children's nativity play was supposed to start. "You can understand children fighting in the playground," said one disgusted mom, "but not parents." Sadly, though, this kind of thing happens all the time. Here, seven "hardcore" parent vs. parent schoolyard brawls:
1. The nativity crime scene
Campus scuffles don't get much more shocking than the one that erupted at the British elementary school this week. As parents readied their camcorders, a man entered the room and lunged for another dad. It's unclear what exactly they were quarreling about, but "the two men started to fight in front of all the parents," a witness tells Britain's Daily Mail. "One bit the finger off the other and spat the blood out like an animal." Teachers broke them up, and the alleged culprit was arrested.
2. Roughing up the cops
After a female student was allegedly assaulted earlier this year at a high school in Sydney, Australia, parents took matters into their own hands. Four women and two men, ages 26 to 50, were arrested after a fight outside the school, and one of the men reportedly punched a police sergeant in the face before an officer maced the entire group to subdue them. "The sergeant's a bit of a tough character," a police official told the Sydney Morning Herald. "He gave a couple back too, just in response and defense of himself."
3. A family affair
Parents disrupted a high school basketball game in North Carolina in January, when a fight reportedly broke out because a school official told a girl to go back to her school's side of the gym, and her dad got mad and pounced. Then the girl and her mom joined in. Only dad was arrested.
4. A childish spat
Graduation is supposed to be a proud moment, but it brought shame on 20 parents at Puesta del Sol Elementary School in southern California last year. Police said several mothers got into an argument near the site of a kindergarten graduation ceremony — it's unclear what they were angry about. They started fighting, prompting several men to jump in. Two people were arrested, but there were no injuries.
5. The consequences of schoolyard fights
Police officers were posted at the entrance of an elementary school in Wales in October, after a fight between two families broke out on the playground. Reportedly, a bike and several beer cans were thrown during the scuffle. As a result, parents were temporarily forbidden from walking their kids past the gate. "We cannot have this kind of behavior going on," headmistress Sian Wyn Thomas tells Wales Online,"as it is a threat to the safety of children and also gives a dreadful example to children."
6. Another nativity play, another brawl
A Christmas play was canceled at an Irish elementary school in 2007 after an argument between two moms — one reportedly recently arrested on drug charges — turned violent. The kids performing the nativity play were pushed to the side of the room as the women started punching each other. "Parents and children just scattered everywhere," a parent told People's Republic of Cork. "It was an awful situation. The children had spent weeks preparing."
7. Standing room only
In 2004, two parents were arrested and accused of beating up another mom before the Christmas pageant at St. Clare's Pre-School in Great Kills, N.Y. The victim claimed that the couple and their 1-year-old son had taken her seats, and they attacked her when she asked them to get up. The victim was treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital. "My neck, face, hair — my whole body hurts," she told the Staten Island Advance.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- How to make corn dogs
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
Subscribe to the Week