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The purpose of self-defense is to prevent injury, NOT to see how much injury one can inflict on someone else.  The criteria for determination of whether a student’s actions were in self-defense are:

1.  Whether the student claiming self-defense verbally or non-verbally provoked the other combatant(s);

2.  Whether the student claiming self-defense had a reasonable opportunity to retreat to a place of safety or get help from an adult;

3.  Whether the force used by the student claiming self-defense was reasonable and was used only to protect him/herself, rather than being used in aggressive retaliation; and

4.  Whether the student claiming self-defense punched, kicked, or otherwise tried to injure the other person.

Students who seek to injure the other student, because the other student started it first are considered mutual combatants, not students acting in self-defense.

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