Making Sure Our Kids Are Safe

Wednesday we told you about a 15-year-old boy who opened fire on his classmates, killing one and injuring another. Thursday, a similar scene unfolded in North Carolina when a 13-year-old boy fired a gun in school. These frightening situations are bringing the issue of school safety to the forefront once again.

Parents arriving at Burns Middle School in North Carolina Thursday morning tried to find the silver lining in a dark cloud. No one was injured when an eighth grader fired a gun inside the building. This comes less than 24 hours after one Minnesota student was killed and another injured after a fellow classmate opened fire.

Both are miles apart from one another and Tallahassee; miles away from Leon County, but they trigger the same feelings.

"Of coarse always frightening and security is our top concern and we would like to do everything we can do to make sure kids are safe," says Alice Caswell, Swift Creek Middle School principal.

One way Swift Creek Middle School is ensuring student safety is limiting what students can carry. Students must leave their backpacks in their lockers during school hours.

Teacher Kimberly Edington isn't the only one who supports kids leaving backpacks behind. Science teacher, Jeanne Schoeder says the backpacks take up too much room and in a science lab space is already tight.

Teachers say limiting the use of a book bag to just before and after school isn't just for school safety, it also helps the child with time management because they have to get to their locker before they can get to their next class, but it also discourages kids from carrying anything to school they shouldn't.

Bringing a weapon to school falls under the schools Zero Tolerance Policy, which was recently updated.

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Myths About Youth Violence

These false ideas are intrinsically dangerous. Assumptions that a problem does not exist or failure to recognize the true nature of a problem can obscure the need for informed policy or for interventions.

  • Most future offenders can be identified in early childhood.

  • Child abuse and neglect inevitably lead to violent behavior later in life.

  • African American and Hispanic youths are more likely to become involved in violence than other racial or ethnic groups.

  • A new, violent breed of young super predators threatens the United States.

  • Getting tough with juvenile offenders by trying them in adult criminal courts reduces the likelihood that they will commit more crimes.

  • Nothing works with respect to treating or preventing violent behavior.

  • Most violent youths will end up being arrested for a violent crime.

Source: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/youthviolence/summary.htm(U.S. Surgeon General)


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