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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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The "10 Seconds" Fight Game: What Are Your Kids Doing At School?

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Think you know what your child is doing at school? After reading about this “extracurricular” school activity, you will want to think again. I turned on the news this morning; the newscaster was reporting an incident that had occurred in a Troy, MI middle school. What students do for “fun”, these days, is dangerous and may have serious, even deadly, consequences. The activity is called the “10 seconds” fight game. Have you heard of it? Here’s how you play: Two people agree to fight for 10 seconds. During this time they attempt to inflict as much pain or injury on their opponent as possible. Not only are there spectators, but sometimes even a “camera man” with the use of their cell phones. These fights are typically conducted in the school restroom, out of view of the teachers and administration.

Parents with children in the Troy school district were sent the following email warning about the “Ten Seconds” game:

Dear Parents,

Below is information provided to us by the Troy Police Department regarding an activity among teenagers called “10 seconds.” The activity involves youths meeting at a prearranged time to fight for ten seconds. While there are incidents across the nation, it is a relatively unknown activity and was brought to our attention only through a recent incident at Baker Middle School. The Police Department and school district felt it was important to create information for parents to ensure we are proactive in our communications and our prevention of further incidents in the Troy community. We greatly appreciate the work of the Troy Police and our ability to work with them on issues that will keep our students’ safe. If you have any questions regarding the below information, please feel free to respond to this e-mail.

Tim McAvoy
Director of Community Relations

Below is information from the Troy Police Department and the Troy School District:

On April 13, the parents of a 13-year- old male student reported that their son had engaged in a mutual fight game, called “10 seconds” with a fellow student in one of his school’s rest rooms earlier in the afternoon. A third student recorded the fight on his cellular telephone. The 13 year old was subsequently treated in an Emergency Room for injuries sustained during the fight. Police Department Investigators learned that “10 seconds” is a mutually agreed upon fight, 10 seconds in duration, in which the object is for participants to inflict as much pain and injury on the opponent in the time frame. Spectators often gather to watch the matches.

School administrators were aware of occasional fights in the school’s rest rooms. They would address the fights as they were brought to their attention. However, they had no knowledge that the fights were related to a game.

School administrators are working with the Police Department to prevent similar incidents. The three students involved in this particular fight have been suspended. Their parents are cooperating with the Police Department and school administrators. The Police Department is satisfied with the manner in which school administrators and parents resolved the situation. Therefore, Police Department Juvenile Unit Investigators are not pursuing criminal charges in this situation.

The Police Department and school administrators want parents and children to know the potential danger associated with engaging in this type of activity. In addition, this activity can and may be occurring in other unsupervised locations outside of school, such as homes or parks. Although no students were charged in this particular incident, it is unlawful to engage in public fighting or disorderly conduct.

Parents, please be advised that this dangerous game is being played in schools (and in homes, when you aren’t around) and may cause serious injury to your child. Lawsuit Financial encourages you to talk to your kids about the dangers of this activity and similar activities or behavior. Help your child understand that succumbing to peer pressure to engage in dangerous "games" is not in their best interest. Look for warning signs, such as unusual bruises or complaints of pain. Injuries may range from minor cuts, to busted lips, to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), or death. Do not take this lightly; this is serious stuff. This new phenomenon is sweeping the nation, and may be happening in your community; in fact, it may be happening, right now, to your child. While ten seconds seems short in duration, it is enough time to cause broken bones, TBIs, even death. Serious injuries will make ten seconds last a lifetime. Remember, the intent is to cause pain and injury by pummeling your opponent with your fists and feet.

Fortunately in the Troy, MI incident, it does not appear that the young teen suffered any severe or permanent injuries. That may not be the case for a future student, if this “game” is not addressed, nationwide. TBIs can be devastating injuries. Not only would your child be faced with on-going medical treatment, rehabilitation, and therapy, but there are a host of other consequences such as behavioral effects and learning disabilities. TBIs are a major cause of permanent disabilities and death. Can a 10 second game impact a significant part of your child’s life? You bet it can. I hope this “game” is brought to the attention of schools and communities nationwide. Help prevent this mental and physical self-destruction.

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    Goes to show how important it is to talk to your kids about what they–and their friends or other students–are doing. My guess is that a number of students involved in the “game” might have thought it was stupid or dangerous, but were afraid to speak out.

    Peer pressure is a dangerous element in a teen’s life, that parents and mentors can combat by giving kids the confidence to act on how they feel instead of the cajoling of a few mistaken peers.