Tolerance for school violence

Violence in Tacoma schools often goes unreported, concludes an investigation by KIRO.

Unprovoked attacks, sexual assaults and fistfights between students are all vastly under-reported, kept secret from police and from parents.

. . . In the past two years alone, at least 873 Tacoma high school students were disciplined for assaulting, raping, beating, stabbing or robbing each other on classroom property.

Statistics on suspensions and expulsions for violence “are not shared with anyone, not parents, not school board members, not the state superintendent.”

If all this violence data makes anything clear, it’s this: When a teenager assaults another inside these halls, the punishment is typically a short-term suspension. If the same act of violence occurred off school property, the punishment would likely be jail.

The state superintendent tracks the number of weapons found in schools, but doesn’t keep track of violence.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Thanks Joanne for bringing this to our attention. An effective educational program BEGINS with fostering a safe and well-maintained learning environment.

    Without a safe learninig environment, just about any educational program will not succeed.

  2. Engineer-Poet says:

    It is documented over and over that students are assaulted in a place which they are required by law to be, and people still wonder why schools are likened to jails?

    If the assailants went to jail for what they did, schools would be immensely improved.  (If their punishment only consisted of confinement to a given wing of the school where they could not interact with their victims, it would probably improve matters almost as much.)  But teachers and admins would rather deny that the problem exists, thus allowing it to fester.

  3. “If all this violence data makes anything clear, it’s this: When a teenager assaults another inside these halls, the punishment is typically a short-term suspension. If the same act of violence occurred off school property, the punishment would likely be jail.”

    That’s why there is so much violence. It’s not treated seriously.

  4. I guess that is why Tacoma showed up as such a big dot on the persistently violent schools map ;-0

  5. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Failure to report a criminal assault to the police should get you fired. Schools should never become accessories to any criminal act.

  6. It’s pretty clear that maintaining the illusion that schools are a safe environment is more important than the actual maintenance of a safe environment.

    Not that that sort of duplicity isn’t predictable.

  7. “The state superintendent tracks the number of weapons found in schools, but doesn’t keep track of violence.”

    Of course, this is a perfectly rational course of action since, as we all know, people don’t hurt people, weapons do.

  8. Jack Tanner says:

    ‘Statistics on suspensions and expulsions for violence “are not shared with anyone, not parents, not school board members, not the state superintendent.”‘

    That would involve a lot of paperwork so like screw it!

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