School Climate & Safety Opinion

Fishing for Solutions

By Greg Jobin-Leeds — May 07, 2012 1 min read
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I would like to reintroduce Bryant Muldrew. Bryant is a leader in the National Student Bill of Rights movement. This piece is second installment of No Groping Please. Join us in welcoming Bryant back.

Fishing for Solutions

Safety. How do we define it? Can it be provided by metal detectors? Or by searching every “suspicious” character in sight?

Our country has an interesting method to providing safety for Americans. The major issue with this “safety” is that it is being integrating into the local school systems, conditioning youth to consider it normal.

On a daily basis, millions of students are required to attend school. As soon as they walk into the school building, many students are herded through metal detectors like sheep to the slaughter house. I paint this image because we know that no groups of animals have been herded where the ultimate end was to safety. Similarly, adults are herded through detectors as they travel by airplane. Now I understand argument of keeping guns, drugs, and knives out of school, but at what expense does this safety come? This is a violation of a student’s right to not be unjustly searched. We already experience this unjust practice in one sphere of our lives. Why should we expand this practice into schools? Is this an acceptable price for this safety?

To that end, the heightened security within schools has not solved the problem of school-based violence. Violence cannot be attributed to the weapons use to carry out acts. From my experience, being a student and a student teacher, violence in schools has slightly increased. If the end goal of school security is to create a safe environment, then we can conclude that the strategy has not worked as desired.

So what is a real solution to dealing with in school violence? And how do we protect students from unwarranted searches and seizures while promoting safety?

I ask these questions in sincerity, that we may a have an honest conversation about creating a safe environment in which students. I urge all to participate in this discussion of safety and rights. Thanks for reading!

The opinions expressed in Democracy and Education are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.