School Violence

I have resigned myself to the fact that I will not understand everything. They’re just some things that are beyond my meager comprehension. For instance, I’m not sure that I understand why the universe is saddle shaped. Similarly, why aren’t our schools safer? We’ve had a number of school shootings throughout the country recently. The latest act of violence that caused me to scratch my head happened at a Baltimore high school. A teacher was beat up and physically assaulted by her own students. How do we know this? Some knucklehead student– instead of helping– decided to use their cell phone to videotape the ordeal.

I suspect that Reginald F. Lewis High School is no different than many other high schools in Baltimore or the U.S. for that matter. These are institutions that border on lawlessness. Certain bathrooms are off-limits because girls will be molested and guys will be beat up. Discipline is opposed. This is not an atmosphere in which you can learn.

We need to be able to create institutions of learning. In my book, “A Letter to America: Is President Bush Leading Us in the Right Direction?” I write that we know how to teach students. There is no mystery. Three groups of people must get together and decide that education is their primary focus — teachers, parents and students. These institutions must be safe for the teachers and the students. There is no excuse for us to provide an environment that is anything less than safe.