Violence in schools (Was Re: Back off! Im gay!)

From: David Lubkin (
Date: Mon Oct 02 2000 - 10:21:08 MDT

On 9/30/00 at 9:00 PM Doug Jones wrote:

>Amazing. In 1974-75 I attended junior high in New York City, a "decent"
>neighborhood in Bayside, Queens. Brawling was something I became
>proficient at, whether I wanted to or not-

As they say in real estate, "Location, location, location."

I went to high school in Israel in the early 70's. We had barbed wire around
our school, we were taught never to pick up stray objects off the ground, we
had mandatory pre-military training in school (including marksmanship), our
teachers were armed on field trips, and the Yom Kippur War totally reorganized
11th grade.

But there were no fights in my school. Ever. The only weapons kids carried
were pocket knives for a throwing game we played at recess. No one I knew had
ever been arrested for anything; it was inconceivable that anyone would be.

My daughter is now in high school, in a large city in New Hampshire. There
are fights at school; she walks around them. There are trouble-makers; she
avoids them. The only weapons incidents I've heard of were at a junior high
in a poorer end of town, and made front-page news in the paper.

According to a police lieutenant I spoke with, the 9th graders get away with
a lot. (Not clear why.) Then they go to the high school for 10th grade, which
has a zero-tolerance policy. In the first two months of each fall, the police
arrest 65-70 kids, 90% of whom are incoming sophomores. They either straighten
up fast or are gone. The whole rest of the year, there are only 15 arrests for
the entire school.

No metal detectors, no chains on the doors. Some of the zero-tolerance is
absurd -- no blue bandannas, no South Park "I killed Kenny" shirts -- but it
seems to work. Everyone has to wear an ID badge at all times.

Meanwhile, ten minutes to our south, in Taxachusetts, is an old industrial
town. Roughly the same size population but requiring six times the police
force. Poverty, welfare, crime, violence, drugs. A friend of mine grew up
there. *He* has stories about high school knifings.

Any stories from the non-US contingent? (I imagine high school in Sweden is
markedly different than in Oz.)

-- David Lubkin.

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