Monday, 22 April 2013

Is There a Deeper Change To Be Had?

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Is There Deeper Changes To Be Had?

Recent events have left many parents and other Americans asking “Why?” A high school

in South Carolina is at the center of this national crisis. Local authorities stormed this high

school, after receiving a tip that a student was selling drugs in the school. From what is known,

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they may of had good cause to perform this task. The problem lies within how they executed this

drug bust. The police swarmed the school with guns drawn, drug and bomb sniffing dogs

attacking, and students being commanded to “hit the ground!” Why such force?

It all comes back to the school shootings that have been terrifying our nation for the last

five years. The most notable of all, was the Columbine High School rampage in Colorado. After

April 0th, 1, the date of the Columbine shooting, many schools nationwide have changed

their policies to prevent these massacres from happening again. Local, State, and Federal

governments have also become actively involved to help avoid these senseless acts of violence.

Yet, after seeing what happened last week, one could ask “Have these changes really helped?”

Maybe President Bush should issue a color-coded warning system for school violence, like he

has for terrorist attacks.

The changes as a result of these attacks are widespread; schools, principles, and teachers

have a new sense of paranoia, rules have become stricter at schools--making many seem like

prisons, and probably the most effective change has occurred in the more proactive approach of

mediating and counseling of students.

The fear of these attacks happening again is normal. No one would want to go through a

similar situation to that of Columbine. That does not mean that we should allow this fear to

affect proper decision making. This is where paranoia comes into effect. Take for example of

the principle of that high school in South Carolina. He was told, by another student, that a

classmate was selling drugs. The principle had previous knowledge of the accused, and knew he

was a “troubled” student. Instead of handling the situation himself, he felt the best thing for the

school was to call the authorities. After relaying the information to the police, including the fact

that the student was “troubled”, the police came to their decision. They did not want to have

what happened in Columbine happen in their high school, city, or state. Their decision to use

excessive force has hurt more students emotionally, then has helped anyone. There were no

drugs, guns, or bombs on the accused student. The whole situation could of been settled by the

principle and not the police. Instead the principles and the polices paranoia took over and has

left many Americans accessing how we should handle these situations.

One way many Americans believe we can handle this is by having stricter rules within

our schools. If someone came back from the grave to see our schools now, they would ask

“What the hell happened?” With all the changes within the schools, they now appear as prisons

and not educational institutions. The changes are numerous and here are some of the biggest of

these changes; many schools do not allow backpacks, they require I.D.’s to be worn at all times,

some public schools have enforced dress codes, and some schools have metal detectors, along

with police, at all entrances of the schools. When asking a former Columbine student about how

she felt after her school started to enforce I.D.’s and no backpacks, she said “I felt as though I

was being punished, eventhough I was a victim and had nothing to do with the attack.” These

rules were not and still are not taken warmly by students. History has shown that stricter rules

cause more rebellion. Which in this case, could it cause more acts of violence by some students?

Hatred and anger is easily built up when individuals are not able to be themselves. Still many

believe that this is the way to ensure future tragedies don’t happen again.

Others believe there is a better solution to be had. These people believe that the best way

to save schools from having these occurrences, is to talk to the students one on one. Some

schools have hired more counselors, and have been teaching students how to peer mediate. In

many cases, the school districts have started talking to their students as early as elementary

school. These individual schools and school districts have realized and accepted that not all of

their students are going to be happy. They understand that students will be made fun of and

sometimes be at the center negative attention by other classmates. These schools do the most

important thing and talk to both individuals, sometimes together or on a more personal basis.

They let those, who are being picked on, know that there is nothing wrong with them, and they

give them appropriate avenues which they can deal with their feelings. As stated the counselors

don’t stop there. They talk to the “bullies” and help them see why they are always having to pick

on others. Mediation and counseling students allows them to know that they have someone to

talk to without feeling uncomfortable, as they might feel with their parents. Students are able to

express their feelings which can prevent anger, hatred, and resentments from building up inside

them. Counselors give students the attention they need and deserve. This helps deter students

from trying to receive the attention they need through negative means such as school shootings

and other acts of violence.

Governments and politics can say they have the answers with stricter rules inside and

outside the schools, but their political banter will not solve the problem. We have to find the root

of the cause and that is not the rules. The root is the students themselves. These acts of violence

are merely a cry for attention. Many schools have come to accept this and are trying to address it

the best they can, but it doesn’t start or stop with the schools. It needs to begin at home with the

parents. Parents must give the needed attention to their children. They must be willing to

become involved in their children’s live. They must care enough to listen, and understand

enough to know that anger will not help. Parents must try to help solve the problems and not

simply punish their children. No longer can parents stick their children on front of televisions,

video game systems, or computers. Children’s emotional voids can not be filled with

materialistic substitutes. Parents must not only become active in children’s lives, but also their

feelings. If this happens, we have our best chance of stopping these senseless cries for attention

by our children.

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