Friday, October 5, 2007

Child Violence Away Fom Schools

In 2004-05, school year, an estimated 54.9 million students were enrolled in our nation’s pre-kindergarten through 12 grade. According to U.S. Department of Education report filed on November 20. 2005, School Safety Report Released, School violence rate is at lowest level since 1992, and the rate of violent crime victims in schools declined from 48 per thousand students in 1992 to 28 per thousand in 2003. This is good news for our district schools with the implementation of a resource officer program, video cameras on campuses, and support by the local law enforcement. Our kids are safer in school.

The same report advises that students are twice as likely to be victims of serious violence away from school. Students in urban schools were twice as likely as students in rural and suburban schools to fear being attacked at school or on the way to and from school. Public awareness and proactive involvement in school districts around the country created policies to lower school violence and crime on school property. Youth violence and crime in the neighborhoods seem to overshadow the good news on school campuses.

Protecting our youth is paramount in our duty as professionals. Children have the right to be safe in their homes, neighborhoods, and schools. What can we do as professionals to break the cycle of violence and crime amongst the youth of our society? Many communities are afforded after-school programs and offer incentives to inner-city clubs to promote sport and after-school programs.

The dichotomy of gangs and the nation’s youth create an underground culture. As we watch our neighborhoods quietly deteriorate and cities implode within, the urban sprawl has fallen victim to these hoodlums who prey on our youth with false promises of quick money and kinship. Deviance is no stranger to any society or time, societal reaction to this deviance is measured in crime statistics and prison bed spaces.

The issue at hand is not gangs or youthful indiscretions, but an often over-looked issue of safety for our children. How do we address our societal acceptance of violence and crime in our neighborhoods? Every child deserves safe passage to and from school. Shifting our attention to the streets will make this generation safer. The possibilities seem at the time far-reaching on school campuses, and here we are today with a drastic cut in school violence. Putting our resources together, education, and crime awareness may be the grass roots effort our children need to be safer walking in their neighborhoods and not fearing being a victim of violence.