Length: 2001 words (5.7 double-spaced pages)
From decade to decade, there has been a new type of fad to sweep the country. In the 50’s it was dancing and having fun. In the 60’s it was to dress freely and avoid the draft. The 70’s were full of pot smoking has-beens, the 80’s big hair and radical clothing. From the smallest of fades, the children in the 90’s have taken a whole new approach to the game. The changed the rules, that would affect the country for the rest of their existence. The fad? To act out in violence in school against eachother, not just fist to fist physical altercation, but from one boy’s fathers gun to another. The new fad is to take a school by a surprise attack and make news headlines. Quite a change from the early 50’s. So the question that boggles ever Americans mind, is why and how we allowed these children to invade and inhabit our lives and allow them to take the control they have at this point. The question can only be answered by figuring out the exact problem to a “T”. We need to figure out every aspect of what they are doing. What are the exact statistics on the teen crime rate? How can we stop it? Let’s start by recognizing the problem and deal with it from there.
Here is the first step. Here are some solutions to the high rising problem, I have supplied part of the solution, it is now up to the public to take action. Three-quarters or more of all schools reported having zero tolerance policies for various student offenses. "Zero tolerance policy" was defined as a school or district policy that mandates predetermined consequence/s or punishments for specific offenses. About 90 percent of schools reported zero tolerance policies for firearms (94 percent) and weapons other than firearms. Eighty-seven and 88 percent had policies of zero tolerance for alcohol and drugs, respectively. Seventy-nine percent had a zero tolerance policy for violence and 79 percent had a zero tolerance policy for tobacco. Tobacco seems to be a rising problem on its own, and we as citizens, teachers and peers, need to do more to let the children know that this behavior is unacceptable, that they are in fact still children. Another way to help stop the problem is Requiring School Uniforms
Public school principals were presented with a list of crimes and asked to report the number of incidents of each type of crime that had occurred at their schools during the 1996-97 school year.
The crimes about which schools were asked were murder, suicide, rape or other type of sexual battery, physical attack or fight with a weapon, robbery, physical attack or fight without a weapon, theft or larceny, and vandalism. Respondents were provided with definitions for each of these types of crime. Under the assumption that crimes or offenses reported to police would be more accurately recalled, schools were asked to report only those incidents for which the police or other law enforcement representatives had been contacted. It was also assumed that requiring a benchmark of law enforcement contact would minimize subjective judgment about which incidents to include. Only crimes occurring at the school, including those that took place in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses, and at school-sponsored events or activities, but not officially on school grounds, were to be reported. While student victimization and teacher-reported data on crimes occurring at school have been collected and reported elsewhere, school principals were asked to report unduplicated incidents at the school level. During 1996-97, about 4,000 incidents of rape or other types of sexual battery were reported in our nation's public schools. There were about 11,000 incidents of physical attacks or fights in which weapons were used and 7,000 robberies in schools that year. About 190,000 fights or physical attacks not involving weapons also occurred at schools in 1996-97, along with about 115,000 thefts and 98,000 incidents of vandalism. Because the sample size was not large enough to produce reliable estimates for very rare events, the survey was not able to estimate either the percentage of schools experiencing one or more incidents of murder or suicide or the total number of these crimes that occurred at public schools during 1996-97. For example, in the sample of 1,234 public schools, murder was not reported by any of the schools and, similarly, only 4 schools in the sample reported any incidents of suicide. The rarity of the occurrence of these crimes at school, given the sample size of the study, precluded the generation of reliable national estimates. In a descriptive case study of violent deaths in schools, Kachur, estimated that there were 105 school-associated violent deaths including 85 murders occurring at schools during a 2-year period from 1992 to 1994. We see these statistic on almost a daily basis, and yet we sit and wonder why it is not decreasing. Because we are just sitting here in awe that’s why. We need to get up and take back control. Three percent of all public schools require students to wear uniforms. About one-fourth (26 percent) of these schools initiated the requirement prior to the 1994-95 school year, 40 percent initiated it between the 1994-95 and 1995-96 school years, and 34 percent initiated it in 1996-97. Uniforms were more likely to be required in schools with a high percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (11 percent in schools with 75 percent or more free or reduced-price lunch eligibility) compared with schools in which less than 50 percent of students were eligible schools with 50 percent or more minority enrollment were also more likely to require student uniforms than those with lower minority enrollment (13 percent compared with 2 percent or less). Schools reported on whether the following actions were taken:
 Visitors were required to sign in;
 Access to school grounds was controlled;
 Access to the school building was controlled;
 School campuses were closed for most students during lunch;
 Students had to pass through metal detectors daily;
 Random metal detector checks were performed; and
 Schools conducted drug sweeps (e.g., locker searches, dog searches).
Ninety-six percent of public schools reported that visitors were required to sign in before entering the school buildings. This measure was required by almost all schools, with a range of 91-100 percent, regardless of instructional level, size, locale, region, minority enrollment. Security included controlled access to school grounds in 24 percent of public schools and was most prevalent in large schools. Forty-nine percent of large schools reported controlling access to school grounds, compared with 16 percent of small schools and 24 percent of medium-sized schools.
Controlled access to school grounds also varied by locale, region, percent minority enrollment, percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and principals' reported discipline problems. City schools were more likely to secure school grounds than rural schools (35 percent, compared with 13 percent). Schools in the Central region of the country were about half as likely to report controlling access to school grounds as those in the Southeast and the West (12 percent compared with 28 to 31 percent, respectively). Controlled access to school grounds was higher in schools with the highest percentages of minority students than those with the lowest percentages (14 percent in schools with less than 5 percent minority enrollment and 38 percent in schools in which at least half the students were minorities) and in schools with the largest proportions of students in poverty than in those with the lowest (18 percent in schools with less than 20 percent eligibility for the free or reduced-price school lunch program and 37 percent in schools with 75 percent eligibility for the school lunch program). Fifty-three percent of public schools controlled access to their school buildings. Elementary and middle schools were more likely to secure access to the school building than high schools (57 and 51 percent compared with 40 percent). Differences were also found by school size. Fifty-five percent of large schools and 57 percent of medium-sized schools controlled access to their school buildings compared with 40 percent for small schools. City and urban fringe schools were also more likely to control building access (62 and 68 percent, respectively) compared with those located in towns (49 percent) and rural areas (33 percent). Northeastern schools were more inclined to have controlled access to their school buildings (70 percent) compared with Western schools (46 percent), Central schools (48 percent), and Southeastern schools (52 percent). Eighty percent of schools reported having a closed campus policy prohibiting most students from leaving the campus for lunch. There is something maybe for us to concider. At 93 percent, middle school principals overwhelmingly reported having this policy. A smaller percentage of elementary and high schools had this policy (76 and 78 percent, respectively). Sixty-seven percent of small schools had instituted the closed campus policy compared with 82 percent of large schools. Daily use of metal detectors as a security measure was reported in 1 percent of public schools. Schools where serious violent crimes were reported were more likely to employ metal detectors than those with less serious crime only or no crime (4 percent compared with 1 percent or less). Random metal detector checks were more likely to be reported by large schools (15 percent) compared with small schools (less than 1 percent) or medium-sized schools (4 percent). Similarly, a higher percentage of schools where a serious crime was reported (15 percent) performed these checks compared to schools where no crime was reported (1 percent) or schools where only less serious crimes were reported (4 percent). Middle and high schools where principals reported at least one serious discipline problem were more likely to use drug sweeps (36 and 45 percent, respectively) compared with elementary schools (5 percent). In addition to the security measures above, 6 percent of public schools had police or other law enforcement representatives stationed 30 hours or more at the school, 1 percent of schools had law enforcement officials stationed 10 to 29 hours, 3 percent had officials stationed from 1 to 9 hours, 12 percent of schools did not have officials stationed during a typical week (but were available as needed), and 78 percent of schools did not have any officials stationed at their school during the 1996-1997 school year. The full-time presence of law officials, while rare at elementary schools (1 percent), was found in 10 percent of middle schools and 19 percent of high schools. It was also reported in 39 percent of large schools with 1,000 or more students, in 13 percent of city schools and schools with 50 percent or more minority enrollment, in 15 percent of schools in which principals felt there were some serious discipline issues, and in 23 percent of schools in which at least one serious crime was reported in 1996-97.
Our personal opinion on the subject is that we need to take a stand against the idiots. We need to stop giving them specials on TV that are all about them and them only and teach others that what they are doing is not going to give them a dateline special, rather a life sentence without parole, or punishment by death. Whatever the action we decide to take it needs to be taken now, it has come to far and is completely out of control. Someone needs to let these monsters take responsibility for their action, instead of sympathizing with them saying they were molested as a kid or come from a broken home. Save the sob story. There are a lot of people in the world who have gone through a lot of this and a lot worse and don’t take their misfortunes out on other people. We all need to unite together to make sure there isn’t another incident at our school, or a neighboring school. The statistics above are completely outrageous, and unacceptable. We need to get off our can and take some action.