Stop the Violence

February 21, 2008
By Antoinette McCardell, New Caney, TX

Your heart is racing Ba Boom... Ba Boom...Ba Boom...Ba Boom Ba Boom Ba Boom, as it beats faster and faster like a stallion on an open plain. The numbers and formulas on the board are swirling in circles around and around and around. Beads of sweat begin falling from your face, drip...drip...drip, your hands, hot and clammy, your mouth like cotton. Then suddenly you realize breathing is becoming difficult; you see him. His gun sits calmly in his right hand ready to blow like fireworks at everyone in sight. "GET DOWN NOW," he screams,"DON'T MOVE! DON'T SAY A WORD!" He says again. As you stand there against a cool yellow class wall you, you begin realizing you are in a student's worst nightmare. You are being held hostage at gun point at your very own school. This frightening scenario is known all to well these days, from the shootings at Columbine to the devastating violence in Jena and the shooting at Virginia Tech. This reoccurring school violence has put students, parents, and educational workers on a state of high alert. No one knows when such cases will come up; they just know something must be done.

What exactly spikes such violence? Since tragedies like 9/11, religious differences have become a common ground for bullying - picking on people just for believing in something different than others, doing things differently, dressing "mystically." Gang related violences are another common ground that is becoming more and more common in schools. Two commonly known gangs in the U.S. are "Bloods" and "Crypts," gangs that rival over home town regions, and the colors they represent, red- Bloods and blue- Crypts. One of the most common violence starters would probably have to be race related. The constant struggles between blacks, whites, and Mexicans mainly but others are involved also. For instants, the recent struggles at Jena, when a group of white students hung a noose on a tree where black students congregated. This later lead to a violent fight where students were injured. Some of the so called main black students that started the fight were taken to jail. This incidents did not go well with the black community because they did not think the punishments were fair on both ends, and protest were started and the whole encounter became a big issue.

The question at hand is do students today feel safe at school? Schools are supposed to be for learning and a place where students can make something of themselves, but now it has become a feared unpredictable place for some.

Most would say the students protection lies in the hands of the school workers mainly the administrators. Their job is to stop any minor issues that occurs before they blow it into a major issue. Most schools have consequences for those minor issues, bullying, racial slurs, and small quarrels. There are detentions, Saturday classes, suspensions, calls home. Sometimes police are even notified and tickets are given in some cases, but these things only scratch the surface. If people really want to take action in the matter, they need to start with the students themselves.

Parents should talk to their children about what is appropriate and inappropriate to do in certain situations, and how to respond when these situations occur. Schools, including colleges, should have particular protocol and drills that are practiced and known to all students on the campus. Even the government could make sure that it is a requirement that schools take such precautionary measures. Most of the behaviors that come from the students are reflections of what happens at home, it is still the students responsibility to make the right choices when faced with violence and bullying.

School violence is a vital situation that needs to be dealt with promptly, and actions should start to be put in progress immediately. The people of America all need to take a step in the right direction and come together as one to ...
"Stop The Violence."

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