Friday, October 2, 2009

Tightening school security

The Boston Herald reports that metal detectors are being installed in five more of the city's schools, including East Boston High School. That will leave all but four of Boston's 39 high schools with the weapons-detection systems.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boy, it's come down to this, how sad? It's funny that none of the test schools need dectors?

Anonymous said...

I felt that the evening news (CH 5) left me wondering why East Boston was mentioned, as if there was a specific incident that led to this. Instead, it's just part of a city wide effort to get detectors in the schools. The viewing public is still left with the impression that this is an East Boston problem. Whatever the reason, or circumstances, it's still sad.

Mary Berninger said...

I guess this is Menino's idea of "moving Boston forward" with its schools: turn places of education into garrisons.

Anonymous said...

Mary

I don't view this as a Menino idea of moving Boston forward - but an effort to keep places of learning safe and weapons free. It's easy to sit on the sidelines and support your candidate by casting everything that happens in the city as somehow a negative for Menino. But that doesn't make the case for your candidate any stronger. So, am I to suppose that just because the Menino administration initiates something, Flaherty is against it - even if it has some public safety benefit? Is it Michael's position that there should be no metal detectors? That's what I would rather hear from someone like you who I respect. But it seems you have fallen in line with the same old same old, which is in large part the problem with the Flaherty campaign and its supporters: the "everything is a bad idea as long as it is connected to Mayor Menino " mentality only goes so far. Is it not OK to say "Hey, even though I support Michael, I applaud the Mayor on this one initiative of keeping our schools safe"? Or is it that you just can't?

Mary Berninger said...

To Anonymous:

Of course the safety of our children is paramount. But it's an indictment of a sixteen year reign that our schools are reduced to utilizing metal detectors to ensure that very safety. Sorry, I can't applaud the mayor. All this time, he's wanted to be judged on his record in the schools. It would have been better had he been able to solve school violence issues without the use of the detectors.

If you really know me, you'd realize I don't "sit on the sidelines." Also, these opinions are my own, not edited by a campaign.

As always, I'm comfortable giving an opinion, putting my name on that opinion and taking positive or negative feedback, as opposed to your inability to put your name on
a post.

N.starluna said...

Metal detectors in Boston schools is nothing new. Ten years ago I was a surveyor for the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. I went to several schools in Dorchester and Roxbury where everyone had to go through metal detectors.

I agree that it is a sad state of affairs that our schools feel compelled to install these things. And I'm not aware of a level of violence within EB High that requires it.

But I don't believe that metal detectors are unreasonable if they create a safer environment within the school. Even if we haven't yet figured out how to get the guns off the street or how to reduce youth violence, at least our schools should be safe. Seeing what happened in Chicago recently, we should also be thinking about how to keep our kids safe on the way to school as well.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher at East Boston High and I can vouch for the fact that, besides the occasional fist fights, violence is not a major issue at our school. Having metal detectors certainly won't hurt but of course the media will have a field day with this...

James said...

I meant to comment on a previous thread here about crime in East Boston and why we seem to have more of it lately, but since this one is on subject, I will bring it up here.

I believe a previous post highlighted the Universal Hub website as reporting much more crime in East Boston than other neighborhoods. Although I would imagine that crime is always higher when the economy is bad, I think the reporting of crime on the web is mostly due to the excellent website that our A-7 precinct runs: www.eastbostonpolice.com

More than in other neighborhoods, our police department has made the extra effort to make crime reports readily available to the public, but this has had also caused it to seem like more crime is happening here. Even the owner of Universal Hub has commented that the police's website might have something to do with more crime being reported here (in the comments section): http://www.universalhub.com/crime/20090726-robbed_beaten_at_knifepoint_in_ea.html#comments

I have lived in other major cities and other neighborhoods in Boston and I feel there is MUCH less crime here than other places of comparable demographics and population density. In fact, as StarLuna indicated in the comments section here, there is factual evidence to support my sense of the situation: http://www.universalhub.com/node/26490#comments

I wish that the Globe and other websites would consider that when a police department reports better than other departments, that does not indicate that there is more crime. Why can't they look at the statistics instead of just making their conclusions without comparing to other neighborhoods?

On the subject of metal detectors, I think that is sends the wrong message to the students who will have to enter the building by passing through detectors. If the students are not carrying guns and knives into school, then they shouldn't be subject to screening like that.

Jim said...

James (not me) makes a good point. All the statistics that I've seen through the years show that East Boston generally has lower levels of crime than many other parts of the city. And while there has been a spate of robberies, I still believe that to be true.

The Universal Hub web site does occasionally point out crimes in Eastie, but I think James may be right -- these are more evident because of the Station 7 web site.

Universal Hub also does a nice job of pointing readers to this site when they feel I've written something of interest.

Jim said...

As for the metal detectors at East Boston High School, I concur with other comments that this was not the result of a particular incident at the school, but rather of a policy of more widespread use of the devices.

Let's face it: Violence sometimes happens in our high schools. In a building of a couple thousand teenagers it just takes one kid with a knife or gun and we have a tragedy on our hands. Why wait until it happens to install the detectors. We can't make the entire world safe for our children, but we require that they go to school and therefore should ensure their safety.

Anonymous said...

To Mary, why so much anger? The reality is that we do live in a violent world and for the mayor to step up and do something should be applauded. Let's hear your idea of what you'd do if children are bringing weapons into schools? Better yet what would Flaherty do?
In my opinion you know that Menino is going to win and its just sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

Why do you refuse to print non offense things Jim?

Jim said...

What are these "non offense things" that you speak of?

Anonymous said...

I believe Mary's point is that it is a travesty to have to resort to metal detectors in the first place. Question. Whatever happened to getting expelled? I know a teacher who had a student at the Timilty school who got caught with a gun in his locker and they sent a tutor to his house.Mindboggling to me.

Anonymous said...

the travesty is having to expel students from school for something that can be so easily deterred by installing a metal detector. I actually think Mary is blowing this a bit out of proportion. The metal detector serves as a signal to all students that guns and knives don't belong in school - the same way it works for terrorists and hijackers at airports. Burying your head in the sand doesn't make the problem go away - being proactive about the problem does. Kudos to Menino on this one. Sorry Mary, this was just one that even I can't agree with you on.

Anonymous said...

Metal detectors, threat-evaluation software, police officers -- hundreds of American schools have added tighter security since 1999’s attack at Colorado’s Columbine High School.

But these solutions "are not likely to be effective," and are potentially harmful, according to federal researchers who conducted the most thorough study of school shootings across the nation.

Of what value is a metal detector, the researchers asked, when an attacker is willing to kill others and take his or her life?

Anonymous said...

sure - but I still haven't heard from Mary or her camp anything that resembles a logical counter-proposal on addressing the real issue of weapons in our schools other than her sarcastic snipe that putting metal detectors at schools = Menino making them into garrisons. We have metal detectors at courthouses, airports, sporting and entertainment events, and yes schools throughout this country. Why? Because society is the way it is and people feel the need to carry weapons to these places. If we want to ensure safety then we need to do one of two things: (a) eliminate all weapons or (b) prevent their presence in places where we deserve to have an expectation of safety. I think we all know the difference between what is idealistic and what is realistic? Do you Mary?

Anonymous said...

I am not part of the "Mary camp".What I am suggesting is that if a student is caught with a knife or a gun on school property,they should be removed from that school, and all other Boston public schools. Instant expulsion.Those types are only making it difficult to create and sustain a proper learning environment.