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28 school-aged kids have been killed in Chicago so far this academic year and there is still three more months to go before summer break.

According to usnews.com in 28 school aged kids have been killed in Chicago so far this academic year and there is still three more months to go before summer break. The violence doesn’t just happen in the streets it’s also happening in their schools. Junior high schools reported fights or attacks with a weapon in an estimated 7,576 incidents (School Violence Statistics 1999). School should be a safe place, where you are not at risk of being a victim to violence. Today students often don’t come to school because they fear that someone will hurt them. School security measures needs to improve to reduce school violence. More security will make the students a safer feeling with a better sense of protection.

Fights break out in every school even in Scotch Plains, but with more security measures students will be less likely to start a fight. A survey of 65,000 teens showed that 37 percent feel unsafe in school. (Dew Diane, 1995). This shows that students fear school when they should feel most protected there. If there where security cameras and security guards the students could run to them for help and it could even help teachers. A teacher at a Philadelphia classroom was attacked and if it weren’t for the security cameras the students would not have been caught. “ Apparently I went into the hallway, in the hallway he followed me this I know from the surveillance cameras” That teacher got knocked out and then beaten up by 2 kids in the hallway. (Burd, NPR. Interview June 26. 2007). Without that camera the school wouldn’t have been able to catch the attackers. Security cameras will record incidents and will help get rid of all the students who cause fights in school. 

Students fight every day and often times their classmates record the video because they thing its funny they want to share it with their friends. So they post their classmates fight on the Internet. There is even a website just for school fights, its called www.psfights.com. If schools had tougher security we could reduce the violence and help end that website and keep it away from influencing kids to start fights. Without websites like www.psfights.com schools wouldn’t have as much violence. So more security measures can help control the kids outside of school.

A key component to security is getting to know the students, recognizing if they are angry, sad, depressed, or happy. Schools security should set up a program where teachers talk to students to see and if there has been any threats or any signs of anger in other students. There was a poll that asked students what can

teachers do to make them feel safe and 24% said open communication and genuine relationships and trust.  20% said the key was teachers being involved with students daily (Granger Pg.3). Students feel safer when they can relate and talk to a teacher or counselor about how they feel. Teachers can have a huge impact on student’s feelings.

Not only teachers need to talk to their students but also parents need to talk to their son or daughter often to see what is going on in their lives. They need to connect with their child so they don’t cause any violence in school.  That is a huge factor in a teenager’s life. Students sometimes commit crimes in school because their social or family life is awful. If parents talk to their child they will stay out of trouble because they know someone cares about them.

Students find ways to obtain weapons and bring them to school for many reasons. 43% of students who bring a weapon to school do so because they feel they need protection, and 35% said they are holding it for a friend, and the scariest reason why is that 18% of students who bring weapons to school want to get back at someone (Maryann Miller, 1999). We need school measures to increase or those angry students will eventually use those weapons to get back at someone. School is unsafe if there are students that carry weapons. The students in The Virgina Tech and Columbine Massacres the students did use those weapons and the outcomes were horrific.

At Virgina Tech University on April 16, 2007 one of the worst school shootings took place. A young man named Seung-Hui Cho open fired inside 2 classrooms killing 33 people including himself and wounding many others. This gave America a huge scare and was extremely depressing. According to the New York Times the Campus Police Chief said that Seung-Hui Cho was not a student. If they had metal detectors or student ID cards this may have been avoided. We will never forget the unbelievable shooting, it will be with us forever. Another horrific incident that also could have been avoided if there was metal detectors and security guards is the Columbine shooting. On April 20th 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who attend Columbine High School killed 12 students and 1 teacher before they committed suicide. Both the students have been planning this in advance but if there had been a security program in which teachers talk to students this horrible shooting could have been stopped. This is why security measures must be increased or violent crimes like Columbine and Virgina Tech shootings will continue to happen at other schools.

In 2006, the National Center for Educational Statistics reported that 96% of high schools, 94% of middle schools and 74% of elementary school have some level of crime. (National Center for Educational statistics). Security must improve to reduce this violence. If school security measures improve then school violence will decrease. Student’s lives are at risk and we still seem to do little about it. Even in Scotch Plains High School, I have seen fights break out. We need to have a security plan to protect the students, facility, and staff.