Essay: Liability Issue in School

Pages: 5 (1715 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

Liability Issue in School

According to U.S. Department of Education, safety at school is a fundamental element in a good performance of students in a school. The reasons why safety at school is a legitimate issue is because, firstly it allows students to focus entirely on their academic achievements. Secondly it fosters positive relationships between the students and the school personnel which improves the staff morale. Thirdly, safety at school provides a conducive environment for learning which in turn leads to improved academics. Fourthly, it ensures reduced disciplinary cases, detentions and suspensions. All these benefits extend to the entire community in the district by bringing up children who are well behaved and with academic excellence. Further to this, the entire district becomes secure for all its inhabitants. According to the federal statutes and the state law, schools should report any insecurity issues to the law enforcement officials. However, dealing with violence involving students should have involved the school administration, parents and the law enforcement officials (Nixon & Werner, 2010).

In the Rough inner city district of Trenton, New Jersey, there are many insecurity cases that result from the high poverty levels in the community. This insecurity has infiltrated into the school causing a dent in the safety of students. The school comprises of both Hispanic and African-American students from the neighborhood, and many of them lack parental guidance (Mooij, 2012). Following this, many students involve in school crime, drug abuse and violence. Crime is the most common phenomenon that faces the school safety. Recruitment of many students into crime gangs has been done in the ghetto. Many students agree to join these gangs with an aim to support themselves and their families financially. Others join them due to peer pressure and want to keep up with the level of their peers, both financially and in popularity.

Common crimes include theft, shoplifting and prostitution. Supply of guns to many students has been done by the gang leaders, and requirements are that, the students use them in planned robberies and theft. In many cases, students carry these guns to school which dents the safety at school. Other students involve in shoplifting in the neighboring business community. They shoplift the items they admire but are incapable to afford them. This extends into the school where these students steal items belonging to their fellow students. Prostitution is another crime that compromises the safety of the school. Many girls participate in prostitution in order to pay school fees. However, they deal with a variety of clients who are majorly the drug barons in the ghetto. Prostitution spreads diseases and thus leads to an unhealthy school environment.

Drug abuse is another issue that compromises the school's safety. Drugs like cocaine and marijuana are common among students. These drugs are cheap and are the "in thing" among the youths. They take the drugs during house parties and for those suffering from addiction bring them to school and take them during breaks. In other cases, drug barons use students to sell the drugs to the school community which serves as the largest market for the drugs. Alcohol is another drug common among the students. During parties, consumption of alcohol is prevalent and to hide from parents or school staff, the students mix it with soft drinks. As a result, cases of alcoholism are on the rise among the students. Alcohol and drug abuse dent the school's safety by encouraging unhealthy behaviour among the students (Mooij, 2012). Addiction to these drugs leads to an increase in the crime levels both in the school and the neighboring environment. This happens as the students' source for money to buy the drugs. In other cases, many students agree to recruitment in drug syndicates by drug barons in order to ensure stable supply of drugs. They thus become the agents to supply the drugs to the market provided by the other students in the school.

In addition, violence is also a common occurrence that affects the safety at school. Many students lack parental support, and they grow without guidance in life. Therefore, the level of indiscipline among them is high. Also, these students feel left out and harbor feelings of frustration and neglect which affects their social lives. They portray poor interpersonal relations with their peers and face cases of assaults to their teachers and peers. Many of these students end up participating in crimes, drug abuse and prostitution in order to satisfy their inner needs. They also show high cases of violence towards those who wrong them. They face detentions and suspensions due to involving in fights and hurling insults to their fellow students, something against the school rules. Violence involving guns and sharp equipment lead to increase in the number of school shootings and deaths in America. This largely compromises the safety at school and leads to poor relations between the students which extends to the entire school community and neighborhood. As a result, students portray poor academic performance.

Therefore, efforts to enhance the school's safety must be put by the students, parents, school personnel, district administration and law enforcement officials. Measures address this issue need to be put in place in order to create safe school environments for students (Nixon & Werner, 2010). Firstly, metal detectors are essential in reducing cases of violence by the use of guns and sharp objects. The school administration has set funds aside to purchase metal detectors that inspect students as they come into the school compound. Installation of metal detectors in the halls and pathways is also principal to detect the gadgets students are able to sneak through the school fence. This reduces cases of shootings and stabbings in the school and the community at large. The school administration uses surveillance systems to monitor students' behavior. Surveillance gadgets are common in the areas students are likely to use to take drugs and smoke marijuana. Installation is also common along corridors in order to monitor violence cases among students.

In addition, the school personnel adopt the use of swift punishment for students who display indiscipline. Detentions are prevalent in many schools. Students stay behind either in the library and serve their detention time. Use of suspensions by teachers is also a common way of dealing with this issue. In many cases, students receive suspensions even on issues that happen outside the school compound. These are those that involve several students and the disciplinary team see that the issue affects the school and would pose a safety threat to other students. The school administration has come up with rules and regulations that govern the students. Any student who does contrary to these rules is liable for punishment (Stloukal & Wickman, 2011). The school personnel in conjunction with parents and district administrators have put in place a violence prevention and response plan that aims at reducing violence in the school environment. Creation of a team to design and implement this plan aids in dealing with the safety issue in the school. Thirdly, a forum for discussing issues affecting students is another measure the school is using to curb the increase in safety issues in the school. Through these forums, students share issues affecting their safety in the school and neighborhood. The school administration thus works towards the creation of a safe environment for the students. Finally, the school and the neighboring community aim to reduce levels of drug abuse among the students by offering guidance and counseling facilities to the students dealing with drug addiction problems. Also, the community participates in these efforts by availing rehabilitation facilities for students struggling with addiction cases (Stloukal & Wickman, 2011).

District procedures dictate that there should be a distinction between school's disciplinary procedures and dealing with crime issues by the law enforcement officials. Handling violence and crimes among students in schools applies disciplinary procedures set by the school administration. A disciplinary department in the school handles all discipline cases that pose a threat to safety at school. According to the federal statutes and state law, dealing with any criminal offense involves law enforcement officials in the courts. For example, in case of an assault by a student, the school disciplinary department works with the assaulter to identify the reason behind the assault. A background check is done on the student in order to identify if there are issues that lead to the violent behavior (Nixon & Werner, 2010). These issues involve lack of parental guidance, drug abuse of unstable families. These lead to frustrations in the student and may cause the violent behavior. Therefore, by handling all the issues affecting the students, a greater effect is felt since the student faces challenges in life and thus overcome personal problems. This will prevent the occurrence of the assault in future. However, according to assault law, assault is a crime punishable by serving a jail term or payment of a fine. This occurs if the victim of assault decides sue the assaulter in court. In defending the case in court, the school… [END OF PREVIEW]

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