Wednesday, April 27, 2005

"Sense of Community"

Several schools are making attempts to stop school "tragedies like last month's deadly shooting in Red Lake, Minnesota." The are creating crime stopper programs in their own schools. Some people (i.e. "Education professionals") "fear such policies could create a climate of distrust in schools and turn students against each other."

"There are very few things that I can think of that would be more effective at destroying that sense of community," said Bruce Marlowe, an education psychology professor at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island."

Well, lets see if I can explain this to you. There is a good sense of community and a bad sense of community. Sorta like good touching and bad touching. An example of a "bad sense of community" is where gang members seek to protect each other, instead of the larger social community they live in. Another example would be where students are afraid to speak up when one of their friends is going to possible kill other members of their community. That is a misplaced sense of loyalty and community.

Unfortunately, crime stopper programs have become common place and socially acceptable, so I do not see how you can argue against having those programs in a school, when the student sees advertisements on TV for solving crimes. It would seem that you are applying a double standard between schools and the regular world and that cannot be healthy.

Though I could be possibly convinced that all crime watcher programs should be phased and students should be "taught to speak up without being offered a reward."

"Frank Farley, an educational psychology professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, said students should be taught to speak up without being offered a reward.

"This idea of surveillance -- there's something unsavory there," Farley said. "We're familiar with the history of that in the former Soviet Union and Nazi Germany." He added: "I think it's bad civics.""

I wonder if crime stopper programs are really that effective? That might also be another argument that I would be sympathetic to, concerning this issue.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting idea. And you ask a good question, do crime stoppers really work? I think this might "turn students against each other" but this already happens in schools. Studetns are told to tell a teacher if something is goin on, instead of handle it themselves. Often the adults at the school don't handle the situation and then the 'snitch' is in greater danger than they were before. If a program like this is going to be effective it has to be more benefical to the student to be an informant than to side with his/her peers. If he's just going to get beat up for it then what's the point? So their does need to be a benefit, or at least a guarantee the student will be ok. Ok, ok, I know schools aren't prisons, but I'm really not exaggerating here. I can be difficult to survive in a middle/high school and most students are trying to do just that. Survive. And the best way is to not call attention to themselves. The school really has to find a way to place the loyalty and community in the right place, not in the hands of thugs or homicidal. This is extremely hard at a time in teenage development when adults are NOT to be trusted and every child pretends he/she doesn't have parents. I don't know what the solution is, but this is only 1/2 of it.