Students are Carrying Weapons to School to Deal with Problems
Unfortunately, one of the reasons why students are stating they are carrying weapons to school is in order to deal with certain problems that they are having at school. These problems usually deal with other students. To many students, this is an acceptable risk. In their minds, using a weapon to deal with their problems far outweighs the consequences that teachers will impose on them. It seems that there is a societal attitude that violence is the way to resolve certain problems, especially when non-violent solutions have already been utilized. However, there are those students that simply skip non-violent solutions and go straight for the violence. But no matter if weapons are being used in an act of aggression or are being used in defense of the aggression by another on the student, the main reasons in which weapons are brought to school are because of gang and drug activity occurring on school grounds.
What is a Weapon?
A weapon doesn’t necessarily have to be a gun. As a matter of fact, a weapon can also be any instrument that can be used to inflict harm upon another person. This can include knives and explosive devices, as well as something such as a simple lighter or a student bringing a bullet to school.
It is also important to note that due to the zero tolerance policies within schools, a six year old may be punished just as severely as a high school student, although the six year old may be innocently bringing the weapon to school.
There have been a number of surveys conducted throughout the years that that state that most students, if they do not carry a weapon on their own, knows someone who has. As a matter of fact, in 1996 as a part of the Survey of High Achievers, 29% of students reported that they have this knowledge. Seventeen per cent of those students said they knew for a fact that it was not hard to obtain a weapon at school.
Strategies Being Implemented
There are a number of strategies being implemented to try and curb violence with weapons in schools. For instance, states have passed gun-free zones legislation, meaning that weapons are not to be brought onto school property and doing so can result in prison time. The Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 also states that students can be expelled if they are found in possession of a weapon.
Furthermore, public awareness campaigns and education within the schools about violence with weapons can help reduce the chances that students will resort to violence with weapons, let alone bring them onto school property. And to ensure that weapons do not find their way into schools, some schools are implementing metal detectors to detect weapons at the entryways.