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Fighting Back Against Girl Fights

ALBANY - Over the past several months, a number of local street fights have been recorded, posted on social media and shared thousands of times.  If you watch the videos, you'll notice a growing trend,  many of those involved in the fights are teenage girls.   
The fights can be hard to watch, teenage girls beating each other relentlessly.  Most of the videos are uploaded and shared within hours of the fight and it doesn't appear any of the teens are overly embarrassed about their behavior.
"There's so many other things you could be doing to be known for something better," says Ashely Jeffery, the executive director at Girls, Inc.  The whole mission of the non-profit is to keep girls who live in our local cities out of trouble and inspire them to build productive lives, "they seem to be on the straightened arrow until you get to middle school and there's a fork in the road and it's like which direction are they going to go?  With peer pressure and what's going on nowadays and wanting to have friends and feel like they're part of something," she tells CBS6.
Masiah Tranthan and China Edwards are teenagers, so they can relate to the pressures of wanting to fit in, they say the hallways at school aren't always easy,  "people say stuff, start fights, I just ignore it," Edwards says.  "They do it to try and show they're stronger but I don't think it makes any sense at all, I think the stronger person would just ignore it and walk away from any fight," Tranthan adds.
The girls say one of the main reasons that their peers get involved in fights is because they're bored, so that's why the they spend every day after school and their summers at Girls, Inc. " Its kept me out of trouble a lot cause if I would get in trouble, I wouldn't be able to come here but I love it here so I would stay out of trouble so I could come," says Tranthan.  "I like helping the little kids and it helps my own behavior... it's helped me mature," adds Edwards.
Jeffery says giving girls a safe environment, away from the pressures of boys, family and school helps to keep them on the straightened arrow, "in thinking about a girls-only environment or a girls-only school, you think, oh they need exposure to both in real life but there's so much more that we can do with just a single gender and I see the girls, they're a little more comfortable, a little more trustingthey feel comfortable sharing, they feel comfortable talking to other girls and saying I'm scared sometimes walking down the hallway because I don't get involved with these things and they worry that maybe I'll be a target because I don't want to do what everybody else wants me to do," Jeffery says.
For Tranthan and Edwards it comes down to respecting others, while expecting the same in return, "people treat you the way you want to be treated here, they don't talk about you, about the way you look, your color, they'll treat you as yourself, be yourself and come here," Edwards says.

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