School violence could be history

Improved amenities, funding and smaller class sizes might help reduce violence in K-12 schools.

Keelia Moeller

Last Friday marked the 27th time this year that a student has attacked a teacher in Ramsey County. 
 
A Central High School student reportedly threw a science teacher into a wall before choking him to the point of passing out during a lunchroom fight. His younger brother then punched the school’s assistant principal. Both boys were arrested.
 
As a result, teachers are pushing even harder for smaller classes, more social workers, more school nurses and enhanced parent-teacher communication in schools. St. Paul
Public Schools has resisted all these requests. 
 
There are too many students with violent tendencies and no knowledge of how to cope in a healthy way. This recent attack fortunately did not involve firearms. However, recurring patterns of violence in a student is one indicator of a potential school shooter.
 
By making teachers more available to students through these school climate improvement programs, we may be able to find problematic students and stop their behavior from escalating. 
 
To start, we need to encourage St. Paul Public Schools to take these teachers’ demands seriously. This means deciding on a way to fund them. I think community donations might be the best way to initiate programs that strengthen bonds between students and teachers. By setting up donation programs — either online or with donation boxes at
schools — communities could raise a substantial amount of money to get these changes started.
 
We need to do something about violence in schools, and this might be it.