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. Chabert 2 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 Chabert 3 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 Chabert 4 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 …