Solutions In School Murder Essay, Research Paper
12 April 2000
Solution in School Murder
It is 7:30 on a normal Tuesday morning at Westside Elementary School. The buses have begun to pull into the child unloading dock and have unloaded the students. As the buses pull off, the students began to head toward their classroom to wait for the day to begin. As the day progresses, the students ready themselves for lunch break. As the teacher’s aid opens the door for the students to leave, she sees four students dressed in long knee length jackets, strut briskly towards the cafeteria. She pays it little attention and waits for lunch bell to sound. Shortly after the bell sounds, the students leap out the door and cascade toward the cafeteria. In the cafeteria there is a stage like platform that jutted out like a shelf for about a third of the room. That is where all the disruptive, or the kids that were on “silent lunch”, had to sit. About five minutes until the bell for lunch to be over ringed, four students came into the lunchroom. The students began to shout ferociously and scream for the students to lie on the floor of the cafeteria. When the students wouldn’t cooperate, the four boys reach under their coats to pull out .09mm pistols. The teachers in the lunchroom try to contain the boys and settle them down, but the boys open fire on them. As the adults fall on the floor, the cafeteria was in an uproar with frightened, screaming children. With this the young boys open fire into the crowd of students. Although this scenario is just a figment of this writer’s imagination, we all have been subjected to similar scenes on recent T.V. newscast.
This kind of horrific event has become a common element in today’s news. What has changed so much in our environment that would possess a child to destroy another child? The future’s survival depends on the existence of today’s youth to survive. The society of today has to dominate over the corroded minds of the trouble youth. It is time for members of society to open their eyes and take control of the corrupted youth. The public should be aware of the preventive measures against violence through out the school system.
One effective preventive measure towards safety in the school system is to establish metal detectors throughout the school. Many schools of the nineteen nineties have been equipped with metal detectors due to the latest increase in school violence. These detectors are placed in the entrance of the school or may be held by a school resource officer or school staff member. Metal detectors are used to prevent students from bringing metal objects such as knives, guns and other potential weapons into the learning atmosphere of the school. “8.3% of high school students carry a weapon to school today, which is down from 26% in 1996″(CDC 2). Metal detectors helps to establish a much needed sense of security and allows students to concentrate on their schoolwork.
Many students believe that these metal detectors will ward off would be violators of the school’s policy, that weapons of any kind or nature would not be permitted on the school premises. School faculty and staff have reported that they feel safer and more at ease with the students, when metal detectors are in use. Although metal detectors are a step in the right direction, they alone are not the only answer.
In order for the full effect of the detectors to be achieved, there must be some sort of security guard or monitor in place to implement them. Police and full time security
guards have played an important and necessary role in education for many years. The extent of policing was limited in the past as compared to today however. “Police are showing up in suburban and small town schools”(Robinson 2). The presence of police help to deter students from violating school policies. A policy such as “no fighting”, may include punishment such as a” three day suspension for first time offenders “(Robinson 4). Police effectiveness is greatly due to the fact that people in uniform maintain a higher degree of authority and respect than someone dressed in regular street clothes. Police alone are but a small percentage of the overall effectiveness and success of the school security (Greene 3A).
Another percentage of the success rate is due to the counselor-student relationship. School counselors are a part of the school system and have been for some time. Until a few years ago, they were hired by the administration for class enrollment and to inform students of graduation requirements. But in the last five years the role of the counselors has changed considerably. Counselors of the late 1990’s have had to be more in touch with the students and their emotional state of mind. Due to the latest trend in school violence, many students have taken part in counseling programs offered by the schools. These groups help students as well as staff members, become better informed about the situations occurring in the life of the student of today. If a student should choose to remain anonymous, there are hot lines that are available. This allows the student to speak freely without worry or threat of being ridiculed. There are other programs that are targeting today’s youth. One such program is ‘Violence Prevention through Conflict Resolution Management Training Program”. This program encourages the student to discuss the problems and feelings without anger. Younger children can also express themselves through arts and crafts and even role-playing. These types of programs are
also a good way for the children’s parents to become involved and benefit from the program. It is also believed that while spending time in such programs, the children will not be exposed to the violent behavior that surrounds today’s culture. To help ease students into a more society friendly environment many counselors believe that the use of school uniforms would be greatly beneficial to the social and working environment available to the students.
“Interpersonal disputes” was the cause of “33.3%” (AP 1) of school violence through 1992-1994. Many school advisors and counselors believe that a strict dress code would help eliminate much of the arguments between students. These codes will allow students with a limited financial income to feel as if they are equal to other students. School faculty and staff believe that jealousy is the main source for interpersonal disputes but did not extinguish the whole problem. In order to help eliminate these arguments, many schools developed different levels of punishments.
Punishment today has grown more server than that of the past. The NAACP was very verbal about school violence in a 1997 article. The comments came following incidents of violence in large DeKalb county GA. “If it takes a police officer to make people safe, that’s where we ought to start”, John Evans, DeKalb NAACP president.
The schools in DeKalb County at that time already had 12 full time police officers, hand held metal detectors & surveillance cameras. They also had committees in place considering gunpowder sniffing dogs as well as other safety measures. Some examples of these are in the old days when a student got into trouble, he/she would have to simply sit in the corner for a period of time, for a simple class disruption. For the same situation in today’s time a student will buy a one way ticket out of the school permanently” (Eberhart 10). In October 1994, congress in acted a law that each state receiving federal
Funds would have in place a law mandating local education agencies to expel for at least one year a student who brings a “weapon” to school. These more strict and harsh punishments bring a sense of reality to the students who step out of line. The superintendents and, when needed, the law enforcement officers enforce many of these punishments policies. These extreme measures act as a deterrent for the world’s troublemakers. With the new punishments at hand it is a common belief that the public as well as the parents of today’s youth should be aware of the actions of their children as well as the school system. Studies show that these programs are starting to work (Shaw 1-8).
Awareness may be the answer to the prevention to the problems that plague our schools today. Because of the recent media coverage, teachers as well as administrators are more alert and eager to assist the students who are in need. “Across the country, educators like Roberts, are paying attention to students threats of violence, and kids who mean others harm, risk, suspension, expulsion, or even arrest” (Hayes 5). With so many aware it will be more difficult for the violence to reach the school system. The media allows the word of these crack downs on violence to spread to the parents of the school children, which in turn allows them to meter the development of hi/her child (DE 1A).
A 1997 survey on schools reporting incidents of various crimes showed Nationally 43% of schools reported more of the listed crimes occurred during 1996-97 school year. 10% of the schools reported at least one serious violent crime (murder, rape or other sexual battery, suicide, physical attack or fight with weapon or robbery). 47% report less serious or non-violent crimes including vandalism, theft/larceny, fight or attack with out a weapon (Discipline 4).
With all of this in mind one should realize that the world is ever changing, maybe not for the better, maybe not for the worst, but still changing. These changes must be dealt with, whether it is through the use of the metal detectors, or even making the children conform by implementing uniforms. Some of those actions may appear to be quite severe, but in reality, the crimes are just as severe. With gun control laws and new students policies the children must learn what it is like to be discipline and to be aware of their actions, and the repercussions that may follow.
Metal detectors are making it easier for kids to go to school. It will be like boarding an airplane when going to school. This may help prevent the horrible actions that are going on in America’s schools. The students will walk through the detectors at the entrances of the schools. If the detector detects a metal object a sound will be heard, and the police officer at the entrance will be allowed to search the student (Greene 3A).
Students will also be required to wear photo ID’s when on school grounds. The students will also be required to have see-through school bags or mesh. Some schools in America are also going as far as have breath test at the entrance to see if the student was drinking before school (Greene 3A).
Parents are now getting involved heavily. Parents are now meeting with school boards to make sure of their kids safety. They are getting together to make plans on how to make schools safe for the kids. Many parents want police on school grounds at all times making sure the kids don’t get out of hand (Galbraith 1A).
Many schools are now beginning to take action in faculty-student programs. These programs will allow students to go to the adult for help. The student can explain any problems to the teacher so that their anger doesn’t get out of hand and hurt another
student. The student can discuss their feelings to the teacher and also call another student in to the conference to settle the dispute calmly instead of violently. If the first meeting doesn’t settle the dispute, the student can always come back for additional meetings till the problem is solved (Moore 1C).
The violence in the high schools is getting worse. The punishments throughout the schools are also getting worse. The principals are not putting up with any kind of unacceptable behavior. Any student caught at school with any kind of harmful weapon will be arrested and suspended for a long time. If a student decides to pick a fight he or she is also going to be suspended for a while. A couple of years ago a fight would be broken up, and the student would be sent to the principal’s office. The punishment would have been a lot less than what it is to day. (Williams G1). Statistics show that young children are committing the killings in schools now. Ten to fifteen year old kids are turning to violence on each other. All over the United States people hear about third to seventh graders using guns and knives against one another. Police have arrested many of these kids for killing another student and wounding many others (Williams G1).
Many principals were asked to note all the crimes that have happened in their schools. U.S. public school boards wanted to see where the most crimes were being committed. The school boards wanted to see where the dangerous schools were, and the safe schools were. They also took notes on the racial status on crimes. It turned out that African-Americans were more likely to kill or commit a serious crime than whites. This happens because most African-Americans live in city schools where it is more dangerous to attend. These crimes occur because of either the social status of the students or the language being said between them. The students are at war to prove that their group is
better than the other group (Shaw 1-8). Where does these horrible actions stop? It is up to the American people to take charge of the schools and make it safe for our children.
1) Fields, Monique. “Disruptive pupils get booted out.” Montgomery Advertiser 4
Mar. 1995: 1A.
2) Green, Robert. “Security heightened at more schools.” Dothan Eagle 31 Aug.
3) Hayes, Kristen. “Shooting raises level of alert in school.” Dothan Eagle 1 May
4) Moore, A. A. “Class target a root of crime.” Montgomery Advertiser 26 Sept. 1997
5) Robinson, Jennifer. “Teachers say not enough being done.” Dothan Eagle 25 Feb.
6) Shelton, Stacy. “Expelling school violence.” Atlanta Journal Constitution 19 Oct.
7) “School-association violent death.” Birmingham News 11 June 1996.
8) The Safe and Drug-Free Schools Initiative http://www.nyu.edu/education/metrocenter/initiative/violence/SSRP.htm
9) Galbraith, Kristy. “Parents want answers to school safety questions.” Dothan Eagle
17 Feb. 1997: 1A.
10) Williams, Mike. “Violence goes to high school.” Atlanta Constitution 7 Dec.