Monday, July 17, 2006

The Duluth School Board Proposes to Install Cameras as anti-violence measure in its three high schools

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Randby Brown, the parent of two children who were at the Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 when twelve students were killed and the killers ultimately committed suicide. In an opinion piece in the Duluth NewsTribune, Brown thinks that the money would be better spent for anti-bullying measures and other training and facility improvements that would discourage such events from happening.

Sharon, who blogs at Clairity's Journal lives and works in Duluth and is also experienced as the parent of a child who witnessed a school killing at Santana High School in Santee, CA, in 2001 where two were killed and 13 others were wounded by one student. Sharon has posted an op-ed piece that she has sent to the NewTribune that disagrees with Brown's position:

In a July 14th editorial, Columbine parent Randy Brown opined that security cameras would not make Duluth schools safer and that money would be better spent on “anti-bullying programs and threat-assessment models. As a “Santana parent”, I agree with Brown that cameras might give a false sense of security and don’t address the actual threat of school violence. My daughter was a freshman at Santana High School and present at the March 2001 shooting resulting in the deaths of two students.

Anti-bullying programs do not uncover the painful emotional illnesses of children who are a risk to others, but more often to themselves. As a former volunteer at a children’s residential treatment facility, I know that by far most emotionally troubled youth are not dangerous to others, but the suffering and social toll are such that it is cruel to offer no more than a kinder, gentler student population. A less toxic social environment, while desirable, is unlikely to immunize schools from deadly outbursts.

My daughter knew the lone shooter at Santana, Andy Williams. [snip] Clairity's Journal
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