Saturday, April 18, 2009

Two Years and Counting

Time is such a funny thing. I thought I was just about to reach the two year anniversary of my blog, so I looked up my first post to see about the date. As it turns out, the anniversary is today. So, I happily announce that my blog is officially a two year old (Watch out! They can be wild at that age. :) )

As I reread that first post I couldn’t help but feel as though it had been such a long time ago that I wrote it. So much has happened in that time. But regardless of all that’s taken place, and all the changes and new insights I’ve developed, I still feel that the message of that first post is as relevant as ever. If you’ve never read it, I’ll encourage you to do so. The remainder of this post will relate to it.

As a future teacher, it bothers me to see how many backward approaches people take to education. It bothers me to see how much corrupted, bureaucratic politics have infiltrated our schools. But I’ll reserve the urge to go into a rant about those things and focus solely on school violence.

In my first post, I commented on the shooting that took place at Virginia Tech. In the last few weeks, I’ve been reminded of that incidence by the news of a young man who shot himself, and another who hung himself, both because of bullying that took place at their schools. Yet again, more school violence has occurred. I warned in my first post that things of this nature will continue happening so long as we continue to push God further and further out of our society. Without God comes a great deal of immorality. History is full of examples of this.

But about school violence, I take seriously the fact that our politicians and school administrators at large have done nothing to honestly help curb it from happening. There are so many easy steps that could be taken to help prevent problems like this (that would actually work), but nobody seems to want to implement any of them. And I can’t help but wonder why?

I offer three solutions that I guarantee would cause a dramatic decline in school violence.

Solution number one: implement a Golden Rule policy throughout the entire school. This should be the rule that teachers enforce and focus on the most. They should look out for bullying. When they see it, they should stop it. They should teach constantly that students treat each other as they would want to be treated themselves. And there should be consequences for the one who does the bullying. This would not only help stop school violence, but it would show the students that their teachers care, and would help the students learn how to better care for each other as well. It would cause the students to put themselves in another person’s shoes and realize that it’s never okay to treat someone poorly.

Solution number two: perform confidential written student interviews at least once every two weeks. The teacher should write on the board these four questions for the students to answer on their own paper: What things do you like about school? What things do you not like about school? Is there anyone causing you any problems, or hurting you in some way? How do you feel today? Just to ask these four simple questions a teacher can find out what’s on the students minds. They can find out which students are at risk, who the bullies are, what problems are happening at school and at home, and practically any other problem the student is having, including academically. The teacher can then get help for the student before it’s all too late.

Solution number three: create a metal detector foyer at the entrances of every school. What this would mean is students would have to walk through two sets of doors in order to get into the building. At the first entrance, they would have to walk through metal detectors. If the detectors go off, the second set of doors would automatically lock and prevent the student from entering the school. The student carrying a firearm would be locked inside the foyer, preventing them from causing harm to any of the other students and giving time for police to apprehend them. Talk about prevention!

So, there are three solutions (and by no means the only ones out there) that would dramatically make a difference in our schools. I guess my question is, why haven’t these things been implemented? The first two solutions wouldn’t cost anybody anything. The third would cost some, but is that cost really too high? I certainly don’t think so—not if it prevents students from getting killed. And all of these are solutions that would actually work. They go directly to the root of the problem. The issue at hand seems to me to be everyone’s desire to complicate everything, and beat around the bush due to laziness, greed, and/or a thirst for power. And as long as that’s the case, I doubt we’ll ever see anything positive come about in this regard.

The warning still stands…


Anonymous said...

As a retired teacher of 30 years may your teaching years be as rewarding as mine. May GOD Bless you in all that you do. The world needs Christian teachers. Just since I retired society is getting crazier, but kids are kids. They need love, security, self worth, happiness, acceptance, etc. Be there for them.

Brandon said...

That's just what I intend to do. :)

Thanks for the best wishes. I hope you're enjoying retirement.