What Do You Think?

June 24, 2007

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

There were three poll questions last week. The first question was: Should police officers be stationed in local schools?

"Police officers should not be stationed in local schools. A police officer in the school would definitely not 'keep bad guys out' and would not make the students any safer. At the time I am writing this comment, 23 people voted 'yes' and only 5 people voted 'no.' What is wrong with the 23 people who voted 'yes'? Although life is not risk-free, schools are just about the safest place in the world for students to be. It would make more sense to put police in post offices than in schools."


"Each school would need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Who wouldn't want to protect children and make a violent school safe? Children attending schools should not have to put up with violence in ANY FORM (bullying, vandalism, etc.) in their school, PERIOD. If the school warrants law enforcement in the school system, it will certainly help to lower if not eliminate the incidences of violence. Police would not only learn who the likely culprits are, but also help in the prosecution of those involved in that violence. All schools should have a NO TOLERANCE POLICY of violence in schools."

"Criminal activity by a student can be noted by faculty and staff and the student apprehended and brought to trial without a police officer being stationed in the school. It is not the lack of police so much as the juvenile court judges who do not draft sentences for convicted criminals to take them out of schools. Criminal activity should not be tolerated. Don't call it bullying. Call it assault and battery."

"Times have changed. Most kids come from either single-parent homes where the parent has to work two jobs to make ends meet, or two-parent/two-income households. There are very few parents who are stay-at-home moms or dads and the school systems are being asked to teach kids things they used to get at home. Schools were never meant to be primary agents of socialization. Add to that the hip-hop thug mentality that's marketed to them and you have a very different atmosphere then when I went to school 30 years ago. Ask your old teachers. The ones I've spoken to say the behavioral issues they face today are exponentially worse than when I was a student. Violence in schools is an unfortunate reality. I feel my children are safer with an immediate and constant police presence."

"I think the children are pretty well 'protected' at their schools in this area at least. While bullying is an understated problem it is something the schools themselves need to address in the form of bullying and violence prevention. Administrators, teachers, parents and students need to learn to know the causes and effects of bullying and recognize the behavior as flat-out harassment and that passive observation only contributes to the problem. ... There should be a zero tolerance for violent behavior, but efforts need to be taken to minimize what often leads to the violence in teasing, name-calling, taunting, stealing, gossiping and spreading rumors."

"Police in schools?? Does anyone realize how many police officers it would take. Where are we going to get these officers? We would have to triple the patrol officers on patrol now and still wouldn't have enough. Why don't we put them in every bank, post office, supermarket and every street corner. Please get real."

"I think cops are not really necessary in the school. But rather metal detectors should be installed at the entrances for safety. Setting off an alarm if someone passes through with items they shouldn't be bringing in. Same as though you were entering a courthouse or a bank. Cops have enough work on their hands working to keep all of us in a safe environment. I think they should only be called there when really needed."

"How about just kicking violent students out of school? Why do we even want to have violent kids in school? Why would we want kids who are actually trying to learn have to worry about whether or not they are going to get harassed, beaten up or even killed by students who do not even want to be there and are just at school to sell drugs and intimidate other students. America needs to wake up and not allow 'the scum of the earth' to harass and intimidate kids who really do want to learn."

"I have two grandkids in school and three who will be going. I want them to be safe. I don't know what the answer is, but there is violence in the schools that needs to be stopped. Do something!"

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