12 August, 2009

One solution to violence in schools

Image: Oleg Volk

Our nation is becoming ever more violent. We have developed a national culture of being reactive, rather than proactive. Sometimes it’s better to be ahead of the curve. Our schools reflect our society. If our society is becoming more violent, then this becomes evident in our schools.

The USA has had problems with extreme violence in schools resulting in multiple killings. The Columbine High School massacre of 1999 immediately comes to mind. But there were many others, such as the Virginia Tech massacre that claimed 33 lives, including the shooter.

Here in Trinidad and Tobago we have not experienced this extreme level of violence. Yet. However, the MTS security company that is charged with the security of our nation’s government schools does not – or cannot – prevent violence in schools. One former Education Minister said school violence was "very normal at this time of year."

Waiting for school violence levels to reach US “standards” before we form radical solutions (as conventional solutions have not worked) would be counterproductive. What to do?

David Thweatt, a Texas school district superintendent (we call them supervisors) and his school board, decided to allow select teachers and staff members to carry guns on campus at one school. It’s been one year since the guns-in-campus policy was enacted, and there hasn’t been a single shooting.

Would that work here? Every other Education Ministry initiative, related to reducing crime in our schools has failed. Why not try this? We have teachers who are hunters, former police officers, former military personnel, and others, who are already trained in firearms safety and use. This would be a natural next-step. As a bonus, the children would learn a valuable lesson:

Guns can be used to PREVENT violence.


  1. A fine solution indeed. Politicians have lost their ability to actually think and use common sense. How can they stand themselves, living life in a two-face lie? One face for the public, and their real face for behind closed doors. I have heard it said that "it's how a person behaves when they think nobody is watching, that truly shows their charactor". Those are not the exact words of the quote, but pretty close. +++ Another thought provoking blog post Trinni. Well done.

  2. ...yes it would work,here/there therefore,it cannot be allowed...sarcasm/off

    ...an armed society,is a polite society...
    ...an armed man is a citizen ! Unarmed ? a subject !...sorry fer the worn out quotes,but they're true,every last one of'em...

    ...good one Trinni...


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