Sunday, November 4, 2007

Documentary on Policing and Metal Detectors

Students at Bushwick high school have to go through metal detectors daily. One student had his pencil sharpener and white out confiscated because “they” said these items could be used as weapons.

Santy Zambrano from the Bushwick School of social Justice said “We should feel comfortable in our schools. That comfort zone isn’t being provided”. Many students at schools with these permanent metal detectors feel the same way. Metal detectors have been a serious issue. How safe do metal detectors actually make schools? What affect does this environment have on the students?

Three 5-minute documentaries on policing in city schools were screened by students in the Urban Youth Collaborative with help from the New York Civil Liberties Union. These students are trying to convey a point. These students are not criminals. Creating an environment where students do not feel safe, will lead to upset students who will turn to crime, or dropping out of high school. So much money is going into providing school safety equipment and to hire police forces, why not spend this money on creating a better school environment?

Coming from a small school environment with no metal detectors, I can say with pride that my school is a safe and has a welcoming environment. School Safety agents are friendly but strict on policies such as clearing the school building after school, or when it comes to showing Ids before entering the building.

Some students recently heard that students will begin to have to swipe their Id cards to enter the school building, and this alone caused alarm. It is very important for students to feel welcome in their school, because they spend most of their day there. It would not be a good idea to risk the mental health of the other students in the school, just for a couple of bad ones.

There should defiantly be measures taken to keep the students in school safe, but making them feel like they are in a prison is not the right way to go.

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