Friday, October 21, 2005

School Violence

We see yet again the challenges our schools are facing. A tenth grader in Maryland attacked his biology teacher with a baseball bat on Wednesday. I'd be willing to bet that administrators tried to avoid spreading the news around to the students, but that the whole school knew about it within one hour, and that little to no real learning took place anywhere in that building for the rest of the day. How are teachers supposed to teach in those kinds of environments? No wonder schools are having a hard time finding teachers these days. When I taught I always had a mental plan of what to do if faced with a classroom intruder or attacker. I didn't feel that paranoid, but the thought was present all the same. The kid "faces expulsion and possible criminal prosecution." Possible? Come on. If you commit an adult crime, you should face some adult criminal prosecution."Jerald Newberry, a health expert at the National Education Association, said cash-strapped schools across the country have been forced to cut health and counseling services for students, weakening an important line of defense against students with violent tendencies. Newberry said veteran teachers also report "more aggressive" student behavior than was the norm 15 or 20 years ago." A lack of health and counseling services is not the real cause here. We cannot let our children continually immerse themselves in violent video games and movies and expect it not to have some kind of effect on them. Additionally I'd be curious to see what the young man's family and home life were like. I bet it wasn't very good, but will the news media have the courage to report on it?

4 comments:

bella said...

Excuse me Heather... but did you ever think about looking into the School itself. The teacher and the Principal. I realize no one should have to get hurt and that is no excuse but to blame students and THEIR family. What needs to be done is to look at the Principal and the teachers. I bet if you contacted the Board of Ed just on the matter of this teacher AND the Principal of this school you will see (if they permit) there are many complaints out on them.

Heather said...

Sure, the school should be looked at. Maybe they have lousy security - an adult should have seen a kid with a mask and a bat in the hallway, I would think. Maybe the teacher was a terrible teacher (but I don't know - he could have been superb). Regardless, in a civilized society, people should not go around trying to settle their differences with baseball bats. This wasn't a five year old who lost his temper. This was a 15+ year old who CHOSE to do this. Hence, I do think that he should receive the blame.

As far as family goes -- well, I still believe that a child's family has the greatest influence on him or her. Unfortunately, a lot of parents today do not take their responsibilities seriously. Principals and teachers should just have to worry about academics, not raising the children and shaping their morals. Of course, there are great parents out there who do have children that go down the "wrong path," and this could be one of those cases.

Since it is impossible, and probably not ethically correct, to get parents to raise their children properly, the only thing to do is what you suggest, and that is look at the principal and teachers. However, I wouldn't expect that that will have great results either.

Greg AKA Rhymes With Right said...

Hey Bella -- do you think we should also check out rape victims to see if they are "bad people" who had it coming to them? After all, it would be very inappropriate to blame the rapist if the woman were a real b**** who just pushed some guy over the edge and caused him to up and break into her apartment and sexually assault her at three in the morning. And I bet if you check there would also be plenty of complaints against hte building management which would further justify the rapist's sexual assault of the tenant.

After all, we shouldn't have this knee-jerk reaction of blaming criminals for their actions when it could really be the fault of victims who deserved it.

bella said...

Precint chair...you're in the wrong discussion. We are referring to the teacher incident at GPHS (a PARTICULAR topic) and if you read what I wrote I was commenting to Heather pertaining to the "blame it on the parents" comment she made. So before you go on a wild tangent and discuss issues from A-Z please stick to the discussion at hand. Thank you and have a wonderful day!