In An Age Of Violence Essay

1142 words - 5 pages

School shootings in Moses Lake, Washington; West Paducah, Kentucky; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Littleton, Colorado spark some serious questions throughout the US today. Schools beefing up security all over the country strive to protect their children from these horrific acts. Schools hire guards, put in metal detectors and surveillance cameras, search through student?s personal belongings, and even bring in trained police dogs to counteract these violent events. This added security can?t be the best solution for the problem, and parents and teachers obtain a false sense of security. Schools should take a more cool-headed approach and not turn schools of today prisons of tomorrow. Society needs to take less drastic measures and step back to look at the problem before blindly trying to fix it. Not all of these hard-nosed attempts to stop school violence have been rationally thought out. School districts driven by fear rely on faster and cheaper fixes; hence the drug dogs, cameras, and searches. Adults always tell their children they want them to have responsibility, but by putting up all these restrictions and security measures their responsibility is stripped. Schools use heavy-handed law enforcement tactics out of fear. It?s not only that, they also use these tactics against students who do nothing wrong. This interrupts the academic process and students feel like criminals in these restricted fortresses of learning.Statistics show these additional security measures are not necessary. One of these statistics states since 1992 there have been 82 children killed in school shootings. This number sounds large but when you look at the 99 children that were killed when an automobile?s air bag was deployed the number doesn?t seem as great. (?Deaths?) School shootings account for less than one percent of the more than 5,000 firearm related deaths of children under the age of nineteen each year. (Bonilla 7) These statistics appear to be very low in fact; three times as many people are killed by lightning then children killed in school shootings. (?Perspective?) From 1993 to 1997, the percentage of students who were threatened or injured with a weapon at school remained constant at about fifteen percent. (Kaufman V) If this number is not increasing, why are all the precautions being raised within school? Maybe, all the focus on teen violence should be focused away from the school, and toward where the majority of teen violence takes place, away from the schools. In the 1997 through 1998 school year, 35 murders occurred at schools while 2,717 that took place away from schools. (Kaufman 2) Although these statistics say schools are not as dangerous as many think the media seems to paints a negative image about today?s adolescence.The media portrays young adults negatively in our nation today, and most citizens catch these one sided views at least once a day. People sit down and listen about all these school shooting on the news, but few hear of all the positive...

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