Paper Notes

Submitted By jimmydog1
Words: 977
Pages: 4

School Violence Math, science, and violence have become common themes on many of the nation's campuses. Far too often, this violence involves the ducking of bullets or other serious situations. Students are willing to risk bringing a weapon to school for protection, to show off, or to intimidate others. Fistfights are being replaced by gunfights. Fire drills are being replaced by crisis, bullet, and drive-by shooting drills. The easy availability of guns, coupled with community gang activity, spells trouble. In this paper I will explore the issues related to a gang fight at my high school, analyze the success of the disciplinary action taken, and examine other options that could have been taken. In my senior year in high school, there was a great deal excitement about our basketball team. There was a good cast of returning players and there were slots available for new players. Approximately 50 students were trying to make a team with only 6 spots available. Competition was intense and a few hopeful players became involved in a confrontation. Senior players were able to defuse the situation and tryouts continued without incident. One student (we will refer to him as John) involved in the confrontation made the team and the others were cut. The other student involved in the confrontation (we will refer to him as Brad) was a member of a loosely formed gang. The gang decided to retaliate against John on Monday before classes started. This caused a huge fight between the gang, and John and all of John’s friends. The melee lasted between 20 through 30 minutes. Not only did students get injured, teachers who tried to breakup the fight were injured. After the fight, John had a serious eye injury. Many other students had bruises, black eyes, and scratches. John was suspended for 7 days. Brad and other gang members were expelled for the rest of the year. Expelling Brad and the other gang members was a relative success in protecting other school students. Brad was a known troublemaker and had previously been in fights and other confrontations throughout the years. This attack was premeditated which increases its severity. The expulsions allowed the school to return to normal operations without the fear of further retaliations. I do not believe suspending John for 7 days was appropriate. A three-day suspension for instigation of the initial conflict would have been more just. Although expulsion and suspension worked in this situation, I do not fully support their usage. Instead of expulsions and suspensions the school could have opted to use counseling. School counselors provide counseling programs in three major areas: academic, career, and personal/social. Their services and programs help students resolve emotional, social or behavioral problems and help them develop a clearer focus or sense of direction. Effective counseling programs are important to the school climate and a crucial element in improving student achievement. Counselors could occupy a visible and central role in implementing school-based violence, and anger management programs. Expulsions and suspensions move the students out of the school environment, but do not offer any form of help in the form of life-style changes. Brad and many other members of the gang are now in prison or dead. A second solution the school could have tried is community mediation programs. According to the National Association For Community Mediation (NAFCM), “Community mediation offers constructive processes for resolving differences and conflicts between individuals, groups, and organizations. It is an alternative to avoidance, destructive confrontation, prolonged litigation or violence. It gives people in conflict an opportunity to take responsibility for the resolution of their dispute and control of the outcome. Community mediation is designed to preserve individual interests while strengthening relationships and building connections between people and groups,