You might know that I have been writing a series for kids and their parents on how to ensure that high school and grade school kids stay safe this summer from sexual predators and bullies.  Useful topics and valuable information these, but, this morning, this heading appears in my local (Easton, Pa.) newspaper, so I thought, mayhap I should, at least for one or several posts, change my theme a bit:

School Violence Study Targets (the Lehigh) Valley District.

The sub-heading of which reads that Four (School) Buildings in Allentown (Pa) part of statewide probe—

So, of course, my question to teachers, students, parents, and even administrators has to be  How safe do you really feel in your school?  Be honest to yourself here, if not to me.  Be honest to the spirit of this question because we are seeking the truth about the problem and the implications of the problem because maybe the first step in resolving or at least mitigating the issue is admitting there is an issue.

As for me, I have no dog in this fight, so I might be able to see more clearly than you.  So, Hell Yeah, there is a problem.  A big one, too!  A new study finds students “in the worst performing public schools in Pennsylvania are five times more likely to fall victim to acts of violent crime.”  Again.  Five times more likely to fall victim to violent crimes.   Think about that for a spell.

Administrators, teachers and parents, do you find any part of this report reassuring about your schools?

Allentown Superintendent Russell Mayo, however, although not disputing the data’s accuracy, described the findings as “somewhat common sense.”  Why?  Because most of the schools tagged in the study are located in urban areas, which themselves have high crime rates, so I guess he’s asking us to do the math.  Mayo also projected that the study harbored a hidden agenda, so, without going into any more tedious rationale by the superintendent, let me just say, Bullshit and What a Fricking Cop-Out!

According to the study, “about 18,300 acts of crime occurred on Pennsylvania public school grounds in 2010-2011, and more than 3800 of the incidents – or 21% – occurred in those bottom 140 schools—“

The two Pennsylvania schools with the highest rates were both in the Wilkinsburg School District of Allegheny County (western Pa) where two schools had violence rates of – get this – 165.84 and 128.12 per 100 students!  The most serious crimes (from the study) occurred outside of my area (Allentown/Bethlehem and Easton).  Fifteen sexual assaults and 93 indecent assaults where reported in Pa. schools (remember:  less than 1/4 of all assaults are actually reported!).

Most of the incidents local to me were assaults on students (82 in 2010-2011), although there were five attacks on teachers, also.  The report does not address two incidents in which two students were shot outside William Allen High School and another was attacked with a machete.

I am sure the school districts in my area will be having some serious skull sessions on how to stop this cycle of school violence.  And, who knows?  Maybe something will come out of this.  Something good.  Something safe.  Me?  Well, I am hard to convince.  I have my own ideas, which I will express in coming posts.

Until then.  Stay safe.


Don't miss another post -- subscribe by email or RSS today!

Comments are closed.