Jesse Jackson has succeeded in making a brawl among black youth one of the most publicized civil rights parables of the year. But is this case really about race, or is it about a school’s right to discipline violent students? And even if there has been some injustice, is this the best case for Jesse’s team?

On Sept. 17 in Decatur, Ill., some teen-age boys got into a fight at a high school football game. Really, a fist fight is all that it was. It lasted about three minutes. There were no guns, no trench coats, no apocalyptic videotapes. It was a stupid fight between some dumb kids about who had the most testosterone. It was very high school.

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