Have you been active on Facebook recently? Have you watched all the “LEO vs. Kid” and “Teacher vs. Kid” violence videos? Read the sometimes ludicrous comments left by some people?
Now, to be fair some people are starting to get it. They are starting to see that there is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed. Yes, we can clearly see that in some cases the amount of force and techniques utilized by the Security/LE Officer is excessive to the situation and “need of the moment”. In some cases the issue is a bit harder to discern as the footage does not present the whole story and does not give an accurate sense of what is happening “in the moment”. These, however, are small issues compared to the issue that leads up to all of these videos…
The lack of Respect and Self-Control being displayed by the kids in the video, and those recording the incident.
But don’t take my word for it… Hear what “Brenda’s Last Word” on Atlanta’s 11Alive News has to say about the South Carolina Resource Officer Incident…
Every one of the videos being posted to “vilify the authorities” fails to include the words and actions of the student that led up to the physical altercation. A Security/LE Officer is not normally in a classroom, they are called there after a student becomes disruptive and disobeys direct instructions on behavior modification. In some videos there is not even a Security/LE Officer involved, it is the student assaulting the Teacher over some “perceived disrespect” like having a cell phone confiscated. In each of the videos that are now “going viral” the student has started the incident with disrespectful behavior, clear violation of the rules of the school or classroom and continued escalation of the situation instead of seeking more peaceful resolution. These are not the actions or choices of the Teacher or Security/LE Officer, they are the choices and actions of the student, more often than not a 16-18 year old who may be tried as a legal adult if their actions are severe enough.
If we step back for a moment and look at the situation as a whole there are few common elements that should concern us. For a number of years now parents have been very concerned with the severe effects of bullying in schools. Everything for victims of bullying being beaten to the point of hospitalization and death to suicide by victims because they simply do not see any other way out of the situation. Bullying is fundamentally an act of defiance and disrespect. The students who are willing to assault teachers and Security/LE Officers are clearly displaying a fundamental lack of respect and acting out in defiance of authority. These same students pose an even greater threat to other students in their schools, their lack of respect for fellow humans and demonstrated lack of self-control make them a clear candidate for the role of “school bully”. This type of behavior should be unacceptable, in our schools and at home.
Here is where we can all step up to the plate for our children. Teach them to respect others. Teach them to demonstrate self-control. Teach them that if they violate clearly communicated rules, regardless of the source of the rules or their personal feelings on the “fairness” of those rule, there will be consequences. Teach them that if they choose to use violence to make their feeling known that they are inviting violence in return. The current generation needs our help. They do not need our friendship, parents, they need our guidance and our discipline. These kids are acting out in ways that I cannot even imagine myself having behaved as a kid. Why? Because I was taught that I should respect others, especially teachers and LEOs. I was taught that if I chose violence I would in turn deserve whatever violence was inflicted on me because of that choice. I was taught to exercise self-control and follow the rules, even the ones I did not like. These are all lessons that seem to be missing in the lives of much of youth today. Every time I see one of these videos on Youtube or Facebook I see a child who has been failed by society, by their parents or guardians.
If you truly want to stop the violence in our schools, start with the source. Start teaching our youth things like Respect, Courtesy, Discipline, Self-Control. Make it a point to help them develop patterns of behavior that lead to peace and success. We cannot “bully-proof” every child in the US and we cannot continue to put our teachers and Security/LE Officers into situations where they have to make a choice between enforcing the rules and keeping their jobs, their health or even their lives. We, as parents and community leaders, need to be getting back to the “basics of proper human interaction” with our youth.