Follow-Up on Violence in Schools
I had actually heard about this case from a friend with a student at Hale. My friend said what the parents reported in the newspaper; namely, that the previous principal (now gone, thank goodness) had not been helpful to the parents. It's troubling that the kid got robbed in the first place but to get beaten up for being a "snitch" brings it to another level of fear for that student and any others who know about it.
A good perspective from the article:
"Hale's Principal Marni Campbell, who took over the post this fall, is sensitive to the Sheas' case. She's developed a safety plan with the family, and the district has agreed to her request to assign extra security specialists to the school in the short term.
When the boy accused of masterminding the assault on the Sheas' son tried to slip into the school one day this fall, he was promptly caught by security specialists, who called police, she said.
The Sheas allowed their son to decide whether to stay enrolled at Hale, and they've been fairly satisfied with Campbell's efforts. The family has taken other precautions, too -- the parents notified their son's teachers of the assault and pending trial, and their son has dropped a swimming class because he would have had to leave the main school building and cross the parking lot to get to the pool.Campbell notes potential safety concerns should be taken seriously, but added that they need to be kept in perspective.
"If you look at the data, at Hale the incidents of violence are pretty low, considering we have (more than 1,000) students on campus every day. It's a pretty safe place," she said."
The upside is that Hale got a more responsive principal who took steps to (1) make these parents feel good about the decision to keep their son at Hale (2) made sure that security officers knew the kids involved and promptly caught the mastermind coming back on campus (thereby showing these thugs that they were on top of the situation). It is sad that he had to give up the swimming (given how close the pool is), though.The downside:
"To School Board President Cheryl Chow, it's not just a matter of timing -- she doesn't really see the point in providing crime data on individual schools. "I don't know if that would be helpful," she said, adding that it would be more beneficial to provide parents with safety tips to share with their children."
Safety tips. Okay, how about Safety Tip #1, if your child gets robbed, be aware that the robbers don't like being turned in and may come after you if you do. Victim beware.
Seriously, what safety tips does Cheryl suggest that aren't already given out in SPS handbooks?
"Board member Sally Soriano, who represents Hale and other schools in North Seattle, said she believes more needs to be done. She was surprised at the number of people who have approached her recently to discuss security concerns, including assaults, thefts and gang violence.
She urged the Sheas and other concerned parents to create a rough proposal for updating the district's security policy and helped arrange a meeting between the parents and several senior staff members to discuss it. "Parents are asking to daylight this so they can deal with it, and I think that's legitimate," she said.
The group of parents, many of whom joined the Sheas for their parking-lot vigil Friday, plans to lobby high school PTSAs and principals to line up their support. Later this year, the families hope to present their final draft to the Seattle School Board for adoption."
I hope to join these parents as Roosevelt, as I may have mentioned before, would like to have its police officer back.