In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, school safety has become a hot topic across the country.
States, school district, and concerned parents are looking for ways to ensure their schools are immune to similar violence and lawmakers are searching for affordable courses of action. Some states have even proposed that teachers carry firearms.
While changes in policy are important, most of the debates fail to take into consideration what students feel would make their schools safe.
Colorlines asked inner-city students in Los Angeles how they felt about adding more police to their schools. The Los Angeles Police Department began daily patrols of 600 schools in January.
Inner-city kids, often due to their zip code, may have more expereience with neighborhood violence, added security measures, and police in their schools. The may also lack parental involvement and a strong united voice for or against many of the proposals.
In the video, 17-year-old Josh from South Central explains how police brought more fear than a feeling of safety into the school. He said, "Some of them tend to be aggressive, so nobody has a relationship with them, just like the regular police."
Another student pointed out that kids who act up in class instantly get put on the radar, scrutenized, and more likely to be randomly searched. Other students suggested that their schools should provide more resources and counselors for students, rather than higher-level security.
"We could avoid violence, we could avoid police officers arresting kids at school, avoid having to go to court if we were to have more facilitiies and students could go to their counselors and talk about their issues and pick up if there's problems at home," says 17-year-old Erika from Boyle Heights.
Timothy, a 15-year-old from Compton, said it best. "Sometimes its not really about what they (students) did, people don't care about what they did. I think they should start caring about why they did it... rather than making it seem like they need more enforcement. I think that's the wrong way."
Do you think schools need more security or more resources for students? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Andrew Freeman is a California native with a degree in history from UCLA. He’s covered a wide range of topics for TakePart, but is particularly interested in politics and policy. Email Andrew | @imandyfreeman | TakePart.com