Wednesday, October 04, 2006

school violence

This photo was stolen without permission from Creative Storm Photos.

Bush calls for a discussion of how to stop school violence.

Sadly, school violence is an old story. When then-president Reagan visited an elementary school in Missouri almost twenty years ago, they put up metal detectors to the chagrin of the parents. Then schools discussed metal detectors and campus security at all times. What was once feared about a knife or a gun taken to school as a threat changed after Columbine. Since I've been teaching, bomb threats are not uncommon (I've been through 3 in Minnesota), and even the most isolated school has discussed and practiced lock-down procedures (I've seen two legitimate ones).

The past week of shootings has frightened us all because it adds a completely new variable--sexual molestation. It is one thing to teach students anger management and to look for all the warning signs of a child who may turn to violence. It is out of our hands when a grown man with no connection to the school bursts through the doors and takes students as hostages in order to sexually molest them.

Even the crazed gang member racing through the streets and firing bullets outside of our school last year. The teen from out-of-town who stepped onto campus in July and murdered a fifth-grader was, if nothing else, still a teen.

Security is the first place to start. Schools need full-time police officers. Period. Not just a part-time bike cop with a can of mace. If a child cannot feel safe at his/her own school, we have not done our jobs as a community.

After that? I have no idea. I sure hope Alberto Gonzalez and Margaret Spellings can come up with something.


Blogger James said...

Weeks like this remind me of one of the nice things about teaching in a correctional facility: everyone is safe in the classroom.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Police in schools?

Jesus, American kids are lost man, totally fucking lost...

6:17 AM  

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