Thursday, April 7, 2011

Florida's school to prison pipeline

Courtesy of Chris Matthews, St Petersburg Times. Kenny Stoltman, 7th grader at Carwise Middle School.

Less than a month ago a student at Seminole High School, near our old neighbourhood in Pinellas County, Florida, was planning to gun down 10th graders in a Columbine style massacre.

This week there has been another incident at a Pinellas County school. On Tuesday a 13 year old student, who had been bullied, snapped and brought eleven 12 oz bottles of gasoline and a lighter in to school in an attempt to set the school on fire. He wanted to scare the bullies to make them stop. Instead he was caught and stabbed the school police officer 3 times.
These are only two schools local to our former neighbourhood in Florida. These stories are played out daily in US schools. Why are children in US schools becoming so violent?

Schools routinely ignore bullying.Where is a child to get help if their home life is not stable? There comes a time when the child cannot take it anymore. I have read several stories where the school has ignored the victim, and the student later turns to violence in a desperate attempt to end the bullying.
I really feel these incidents could be avoided if these kids were given a little help and counselling before things got out of hand, and the schools did something to end the bullying. The solution is that simple.

Another kid’s future ruined, and the school to prison pipeline works again. Very sad.

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