Sunday, August 5, 2018
We Don't Work in Mayberry
I read last night’s NY Post concerning the marked increase in school weapon confiscations https://nypost.com/2018/08/04/amount-of-weapons-seized-in-nyc-schools-has-skyrocketed/ . Not a surprise. For the past two years, on the first day of school, there have been handguns found inside our schools https://nypost.com/2017/09/07/teen-busted-with-gun-on-first-day-of-high-school/ https://nypost.com/2016/09/08/teen-busted-with-gun-on-first-day-of-school/ Those schools have metal detectors. The vast majority of schools that I have been in, in some of the worst areas in NYC, have no metal detectors. Can you imagine the sheer amount of weapons, that are not found and carried daily by hundreds, if not thousands, of students? Most of the students may be carrying these weapons because they feel unsafe - not only on their way to school, but inside the school itself. Why? (This is conjecture, in that I know of no survey by the DOE or the UFT.) I believe it’s because a small minority of students, that are dangerous, have been given carte blanche to fight, bully, sell drugs, disrupt the learning process and intimidate staff and students alike. I would stress students aren't the only ones that feel unsafe. There has been increased violence throughout our country in a variety of public venues which has become especially notable inside classrooms and schools. Our own beloved, President Trump, has suggested that teachers carry guns. While I think that is taking the situation to extreme lunacy, I do believe something has to be done. The slavish adherence to statistics, and what they may or may not say, has stopped the reporting and arrests of those that are committing crimes inside our schools. This has been to the detriment of students, schools, teachers, the learning environment and society at large. Have you ever seen a fight in which one person pulls out a box cutter? I have, many years ago. One guy got it across the face and as he was fleeing, was cut straight down the back. His skin peeled away like a cellophane wrapper off a cigar. Box cutters are the weapon of choice for our students. After seeing that, one becomes super-cognizant of their surroundings at all times.
Even with metal detectors such things may happen, but the probability is greatly reduced. I understand that the city, the union and Mayor de Blasio like to view our schools as they are portrayed in fictitious towns like Mayberry, but that isn’t our reality. We are not doing a service to our students, if we do not face the stark truth that our society has become increasingly violent and mentally ill. Our students and staffs deserve a safe and conducive learning environment. Put metal detectors in every middle and high school and bring back consequences for violent and aberrant behavior that interferes with and/or thwarts learning.