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School and Law (rule) Enforcement: A Good Thing?

June 17th, 2009

A groundswell of support has sprung forth for a Milpitas High School youth who was ordered barred from participation in graduation ceremonies as a result of breaking up a fight. The San Jose Mercury reports that school officials are sympathetic, but cannot make exceptions to school health and safety rules.

Brenda Ann Spencer’s shooting spree on a San Diego elementary school campus in 1979 culminated in the creation of the Right to Safe Schools Amendment to the California Constitution with the 1982 passage of Proposition 8. Sweeping changes in California’s school culture followed. Now after years of change it may be time for reflection. Are our kids really at greater risk of death or great bodily harm as we send them off to school every morning than historically? Have we unnecessarily changed our attitudes about the culture of school environments being primarily learning environments, to the now zero tolerance environments akin to jails that apparently exists on one Milpitas High School campus, because of isolated incidents? Have we excessively employed the use of Law (rule) Enforcement on school campuses in the name of safety, at the expense of our young having the opportunity to experience, play, adapt, and most importantly, learn?

Should California school culture continue to revolve to such an extent around Law (rule) Enforcement?

If you or someone you know has questions regarding criminal justice issues and youth please contact the San Jose criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Bernard P. Bray.

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