Before you start reading, this is basically pointless but its an essay im gonna try to get published by my school paper and im damn proud of it, so i posted it.
Authority In Schools
November 24, 2002
Some say that public schools are dangerous places for students to learn; many believe that more security would result in less intolerable behavior. I believe that the current police force and administrative staff not only in (my school), but all across the country, is not only unnecessary, but it is also dangerous and insulting to the student body. In many public schools in more urban areas, conditions are much worse. I fear that the (my school) community is falling to this substandard level. This problem can be solved easily: removal of all police personnel, and removal of laws that limit our constitutional rights.
Inner city schools are the epitome of the future for all public schools. Students pass through metal detectors every day before entering schools. Legions of armed police officers roam the halls, some with drug sniffing dogs at their sides. Occasional police raids in which dozens of students are arrested for crimes as arbitrary as being late for class are commonplace. After some research, I found that these things do occur, and history shows that things usually get worse. One day, all schools might be like this, one day (my school), might be like this. For example, in Detroit on March second, 1998, fifty police officers stormed a school, searching and arresting ninety youths, before escorting them to jail. The principle organized the act to teach students to get to class on time.
This intimidating approach to control student behavior must stop. It is not only derogatory, pointless, and counter-productive, but it is also, spiraling down, until it hits rock bottom. Every day that I walk into the holding-pen that is (my school), I see a police officer who has no place in a public school. Part of me just wants to strike out, and eliminate his presence right then. Of course, I know that all physical efforts by my part would be futile and would probably result in serious physical harm to myself, and even more police presence in the school. So I restrain, but the animosity is still there, not only in me, but in many of us. I resent the control that is placed on students, and I resent the power that is taken away from me and others. These feelings can be easily eliminated by removing unnecessary restraints the restrict our constitutionally given rights.
Illegal search and seizure isn't illegal in public schools. No warrant is needed, and in some instances, not even a probable cause is required to search through students personal items. So, my fellow students, let me put this in perspective for you. We are required by law to go into a building(school) that has armed people(police officers) escort us into rooms(offices), and search through all items we have on us. All without a search warrant. We are also assigned lockers that, in all likelihood, have personal items in them, that school personnel is free to look through. This is not unconstitutional why? All these acts occur in the name of safety. Safety from whom, or better yet, for whom? Does taking some kid's cigarettes, or God forbid, drugs, really protect any students? Even if this is protecting us, is sacrificing a constitutionally given freedom for a small amount of security a sacrifice worth taking? According to Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, “Those who are willing to sacrifice essential freedom for security deserve neither.”
The direct relationship between administrative staff and violence shows that the administration, whose sole purpose is to protect youths, fails at its task. In fact, by oppressing students rights, and creating feelings of animosity and resentment, I believe the administration is counter-productive. Not only does it not produce a significant reduction in violence or drug use, but by not showing trust for students, and not allowing us to make our own decisions, the administration creates distrust between us and them along with all other authority figures we will meet in our lives. This constantly increasing control of peoples lives must end now before it consumes us all.