Write 150 words about the video below. No title page. Need to cite and reference. What are you thoughts about the video? Do you think school crime is in issue yes or no? Explain. What did you like about video? What did you not like about video? Is there anything that should be talked about more in detail about the topic and the video?
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That is once again making headlines here in San Antonio.
Police have issued an arrest warrant for a 14-year-old boy. They say he’s the one who shot and killedanother 14-year-old.
An attempted burglary at a northwest side churchended violently tonight with a–
Arrested two alleged gang members in the carjacking and murder of a Dallas man in SanAntonio–
Juvenile crime is up over 400%, and the age ofthose kids getting arrested, shot, and buriedcontinues to get younger and younger.
Hello, and welcome to School Crime: CampusCombat Zone. I’m Larry Estepa.
Would it surprise you to hear that gunshotwounds are a leading cause of death among high-school age children in the United States, secondonly to motor vehicle deaths?
It’s estimated that students carry more than100,000 guns to school every day. Schools thatwere once thought of as safe havens have fallenvictim to crime and violence, with our nation’schildren caught in the crossfire.
In the next half hour, we’ll hear what the Bureauof Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is going to doabout guns in the hands of juveniles. And we’llvisit with officers from two different areas of thecountry about this problem.
When you’re finished watching today’s program,you’ll know various methods and techniques forkeeping weapons out of schools. In addition, youwill have a better understanding of the rulesgoverning search and seizure when juveniles areinvolved.
Let’s begin by taking a look at what the Bureau ofAlcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is doing aboutweapons in the hands of juveniles.
It’s an all too familiar scene in the nation’s capital.But even worse, it’s a phenomena that’sspreading across the country. Kids are killing kidsand others with guns at an alarming rate. Evenareas long considered safety zones are nowthreatened.
Each day, 100,000 students take guns to school.While Congress considers legislation which willhave impact on this problem, it is imperative thatwe do everything humanly possible withinexisting law to curb this terrible trend.
ATF is making the tracing of guns involved injuvenile crimes its highest priority, and is shiftingresources to beef up its National Tracing Center tohandle the job.
The ultimate objective is to try to determinewhere these guns are coming from that get intothe hands of children.
McGaw went to local law enforcement to help findanswers to some tough questions.
How many of them are being stolen fromresidences or friends’ houses where they’re in adrawer or in a dresser drawer? How many of themare being received through trades of some kind ofappliances or things like that that are beingstolen, radios, TVs, and that kind of thing? Howare these children getting these weapons?
The Bureau wants all guns linked to juvenile crimetraced, not just the ones needed to solve aparticular case. That’s because there may havebeen crimes committed along the. Way
When a person sells a gun to a juvenile, we mustexercise every detail of the state and local law tosee if that adult can be prosecuted. We have tolook at the district attorney and the localprosecutors and say, this adult sold a handgun toa juvenile. What laws are on the books within yourlocal state county jurisdiction?
In addition to increasing arrests of juvenile guntraffickers, ATF hopes the tracing efforts will leadto innovative solutions.
Knowledge is power. If we can tell local lawenforcement that, say, 50% of all the handgunsare taken from home burglaries, have we caughtthe person? No. But we know now to safeguardagainst home burglaries.
Where there’s a predominant problem with homeburglaries in a geographical area, local lawenforcement can go out and say, hey, we had 500guns in the hands of juveniles. Well, people, 50%of those guns came from home burglaries. Lockyour doors. Close you windows. Safeguard yourweapons. And we can cut it down. We need to tellthe community what to do.
There is a strong commitment at ATF on this andother programs to work closely with local lawenforcement, and to respond quickly to theirneeds.
When the phone rings and it’s local lawenforcement, we will almost put down anythingelse we’re doing and go to help. Whether it’sarson, whether it’s explosives, whether it’sfirearms, whatever it might be within ourjurisdiction.
And that toll-free number nationwide is 1-800-ATFGUNS.
Recently, LETN’s Dave Smith traveled to Orlando,Florida to talk with Jim Corbett, who is thepresident of the National School ResourceOfficer’s Association. Jim has also been an SROfor the past 15 years, and has very enlighteningthings to say about crime and violence in schools.
Jim, you’ve been a school resource officer for 15years. That’s a long time. You’ve seen a lot ofchanges in the schools at a very tough social timein our country. Talk about what you’ve seenchange in schools.
I think the school environment is basically thesame. What’s different is the baggage kids arebringing into the schools. Our kids are a lotdifferent because of societal changes. The brokenfamilies, we all hear about that– the brokenfamilies, the violence in the home. It’s very hard toteach a kid when he’s coming to school, he got offwork at 2 o’clock in the morning, or he hasn’teaten since he left school the day before, andhasn’t eaten in 22, 23 hours.
These are the kinds of approaches that kids arebringing into schools. The gang influence, theneighborhood influence, the family influence. It’sa lot different. The pressures to be a kid right noware a lot different than what we experienced quitea few years ago.
Right. The social changes have a direct effect onthe kids’ attitudes, also?
And their ability to learn. It’s very hard to teach akid– he sees no reason to sit in a history classwhen he’s having to worry about whether he’sgoing to get home tonight without getting shot.
And that, to these kids, is on their mind?
Sure. It would be on ours, wouldn’t it? They’re nodifferent than we are. These kids bring the weightwith them to school, and they have to take ithome. And they’ve got to go home and live in thesame environment. A Pollyanna where you go toschool and everything’s happy and you learn, andyou get your education, and you go out and makemillions of dollars– these kids don’t see that intheir future. They’re worried about tomorrow.They’re worried about tonight.
How does this manifest itself in their behaviors?
Short attention span, more violent. Becausethey’re more violent in the community. Whensomebody makes you mad, you strike out atthem.
When we were kids in high school, somebodymade you mad, you fought after school, and itwas over. That was probably your best friend, andthe next day at school you laughed about it. Nowwhen somebody makes you mad, you go homeand get your gun, or your knife, or your stick, orwhatever, and you attempt to hurt them. And youhurt them as badly as you possibly can.
And we see this growth in gang activity related tothat, somewhat.
I think so. There’s nobody at home. There’snobody in the house. There’s nobody to take careof them. They’re looking for some kind of groupidentity, someone that cares.
And right now on the street, who cares the most?Your homeboy or homegirls. They care. They willaccept you for all your shortcomings. They willaccept you. You don’t have to have A’s and B’s tobe accepted. You don’t get yelled at if you fail. Youdon’t get yelled at if you quit school. You’reaccepted. You’re part of the group.
And they’re looking for that group identity.They’re looking for that sense of belonging.They’re looking for someone that cares for them.And they’re getting that from the gangs or fromyouth groups or whatever.
One way or the other, they’re going to find it.
What are the reactions you’ve seen from teachersand administrators toward SRO’s?
When you first go into the program, there’s a lot ofmisconceptions about what you’re going to bethere for anyway. A lot of teachers, when you firstgo into the schools, see you as threatening.What’s he here for?
Their only contact with a law enforcement officermay have been when they got a speeding ticketwhen they were late to class and they were tryingto get to school or trying to get back to school.And they have to see that you are, first andforemost, a human being, a person. And that’swhen you’ll begin to make changes.
After you’ve been there for a while, theadministrators a lot of times see you asthreatening, that you’re there to take some oftheir power, some of their responsibilities. Butwe’re there to work with them. And that’s whatit’s all about.
But don’t you also council them on things likesearch and seizure and other things?
Definitely. Administrators who have had theprogram for any length of time, when asked aboutthe program, the effectiveness, a lot of themwould rather give up one of their administratorsor a teaching position than give up the schoolresource officer when funding becomes aproblem.
But I think a lot of times that we are there as atool for them. They still handle the administrativediscipline. They can still do everything they’vebeen doing. We make counseling and give themsome ideas on how they can do their jobs better.We do some security surveys for them. But theystill do their job, and then we work in conjunctionwith them. Searches and seizures.
And the principals and assistant principals areheld or burdened– reasonable suspicion, whichcan be almost anything. Rumor, notes, he said,she said. And their searches are legal withreasonable suspicion. And then they can turn theresults of that search over to us. It becomesprobable cause for arrest at that point.
Speaking of search and seizure, if you’re with theprincipal and they’re going to do a search andseizure or a search, are you allowed to be withthem?
As long as they’re not acting as our agent. As longas we haven’t said, hey, you need to go searchJohn Smith. He may have a gun in his pocket. Aslong as we’re not directing them. We can still bethere with them to maintain their security.
And that’s something that, a lot of times, lawenforcement officers and educators don’t realize.That as long as we don’t participate in the search,as long as we don’t direct them to do the search,it’s fine for us to be there.
And that’s, again, the partnership. You’ve got tolearn. You’ve got to learn from each other. And it’sa process. It doesn’t happen overnight. The trustisn’t there. The learning process takes a long time.
How often do you see guns and knives in school?
Too often. Too often. One gun a year is way toomany. The weapons on campus have become aproblem.
But it’s no different– it’s probably better oncampus than it is in the community. Kids withweapons are a problem. A lot of times when youhear about young people involved in weapons, it’snot kids that are going to school anyway. It’s thedrop outs or the throw outs. But because oursociety is more violent– and we talked about it–our society is more violent when somebodymakes you mad and you strike out at them, you try to hurt them.
The weapons are available. They’re too readilyavailable to them.
All right. But measures like the metal detectorhaven’t proven particularly effective?
No. Schools are open. There aren’t many schoolsthat only have one door. When you’re goingthrough an airport checkpoint, there’s one way inand one way out. So that may be effective.Schools, you have back doors, you have sidedoors, you have practice fields, you have lockers,you have cars. Metal detectors just aren’t going towork, because the schools are too fluid. You’vegot to change the attitudes.
And that’s another kind of the benefit of having aschool resource officer on campus. Because whena school resource officer is there and he has thetrust and the kids believe in him or her, then ifthere’s a weapon on campus, a lot of times they’llcome tell you about it.
Why do kids bring these weapons to school?
One of the violent society. And a lot of times it’s just for show, to develop a reputation. And if Ishow a gun, people will leave me alone. They willthink I’m bad. And I will not be intimidated.
I think a lot of kids use the excuse of fear. I was in fear, so I had to arm myself to protect myself. Ithink that’s an excuse and not a reason.
There are as many reasons for weapons oncampuses as there are weapons on the street.
The gangs are permeating or crossing all thecultural and social economic barriers now. Is thatwhat you’re seeing?
Definitely. It’s not one race, one ethnicity. It’severybody is involved in it now.
What do you see as the cure for that?
Education. Education. We have got to change theenvironment. We’ve got to change the need forbelonging. We’ve got to help them findsomewhere else to be successful and be accepted.If we do that, the need for the gang involvementwill go away.
How would we develop that sense that gangs arenot a good thing? You said earlier, attitudes are soimportant. How are we going to affect the attitudeabout gangs besides just–
First of all, we’ve got to start young. We’re notgoing to jump in high school and changeattitudes. We’ve got to start elementary school,we’ve got to start middle school. And we’ve got tochange the attitudes. We’ve got to make them notas attractive to younger kids. We’ve got to showthe reality and not the myth.
And that’s what’s happening too long in too manyof our neighborhoods. They’re seeing the myth.And if young people are exposed to the truth,most of the time they make responsible choices.And we’ve got to expose them to the truth at avery, very young age, and keep reinforcing it.
You can’t just show them that gangs are bad. Justlike with just say no, they had to say yes tosomething. Just say no to gangs– we’ve got tohave them say yes to something. And that may beacademic success, social success, involved inyouth organizations, athletics, something wherethey feel success. We’ve got to find somewherewhere every kid can be successful. And It’s not thesame for every kid.
Right. Positive identification.
That will have the biggest, quickest, and mostlong-lasting impact on gang involvement that’spositive.
That’s great. Is there anything that you’d like toend with, advice for school resource officers andadministrators?
The advice would be communicate. For the schoolresource officer and for the administrator, if youdon’t talk to each other, the mistrust and themisinformation will be spread. On a daily basis,hourly basis, you need to communicate.
There has to be a learning process. They have tolearn what our responsibilities and guidelines andrequirements are.
And for the law enforcement officer, you’ve got totake time to realize that that school administratoris responsible for everything that takes place on his campus. Even what you do, he’s still ultimatelyresponsible for. And with that ownership comes agreat deal of responsibility for him. You’ve got tobe able to communicate to him what you’re doingso he understands it. Once the trust is built, youcan do a lot of different things and a lot morethings for your kids.
And that’s what– service the young people. That’sbottom line. Whoever takes credit for it is fine, as long as young people get serviced.
You spent 15 years as a school resource officerand didn’t try to go up the chain, didn’t takepromotion. What has it meant to you to be aschool resource officer?
I feel better– I feel great coming to work every day. That feels as good for me now as it did 15years ago.
Young people have changed. It’s forced me tochange. It’s forces me to stay young, if you will. Ifyou can be young and be adult– but kids changeconstantly. Kids are involved.
And I have never felt better about anything in mylife as I do coming to work and working withyoung people. They have become a part of myextended family. They come back and see me.They’re bringing their kids back. I’ve got kids thatare attorneys, doctors, lawyers. And they comeback and see me. I’ve got 9 kids in the county thatare law enforcement officers now since I’vegraduated. I go to law enforcement graduations,and weddings, and college graduations for mykids. And I wouldn’t change a minute. I wouldn’ttrade a minute for what I’ve done.
It’s a great way to make a difference in people’slives.
Thanks for being with us today.
We also asked officers at the San AntonioIndependent School District a variety of questionsabout guns in school. And here’s what they had tosay.
If you had asked me this question three years ago,I would have told you that most of them are gang-related carrying of weapons. I’m not so sure that’strue today. I know from a number of instanceswhere we’ve been involved recently, we seestudents bringing weapons because of a sense offear. Going to and from school, concerns aboutwhat someone might do to them. And so I see ashifting here, and I’m not so certain anymore thatit’s related to gang or gang retaliation.
But more, there is a concern about personalsafety, especially going to and from school. We’reseeing a lot more of that. We’re getting manymore weapons in the vicinity of the school beforethey even get to school than actually havingproblems with the weapons on the campuses.
A lot of the kids, the ones that we interviewed, tellus they bring them to school for protection. And alot of these kids have a lot of enemies. If you’vebeen involved in a gang anywhere between a yearto two years, you’re going to make a lot enemiesalong those lines. And it’s not easy for you to walkdown the street without having to look over yourback. So the basic reason is for protection.
A lot of the kids bring guns to school because theythink that they are in danger. So they have aperceived need for protection, so they bring guns to school. And several also bring them strictly toshow off to other people. Oftentimes, we’ll findguns that aren’t even loaded. They brought themfrom the house or they bought them, but theydon’t have any bullets with the,. Those are theshow off type of people that we find guns with.
I think it depends. And I get this question manytimes from all over the country, people asking me this question. Do metal detectors work? And Ithink there are a number of factors you have to beaware of when you’re looking at metal detectors. Ithink it has to do– if you use metal detectors–we’ve had people that we’ve talked to and theysaid, what do you suggest we do? And I say, thefirst thing is assess your situation out there. Ifyou’re looking at metal detectors as a cure all,you’re wrong. And in fact, they’ll call back in two or three months and they’ll say, Dave, you’reright. Kids got through with the weapons anyhow.What do we do next?
Metal detectors, just like anything else– you putthem up, kids are going to find a way to get thoseweapons in there. It will serve as a challenge. It will serve as a challenge for those kids. And Iguarantee they will get those guns in. The bestkey here is to keep an open line ofcommunication, get a level of trust there, get thekids’ confidence. And they’ll let you know what’sgoing on.
Metal detectors and kids don’t necessarily gohand in hand. If you put something out there forthe kids to try to beat, it’s like a challenge.
And especially the problem occurs where you’vegot buildings like in most inner cities that areolder, and they were not set up in terms ofsecurity. So you’ll have kids that will findalternate routes to get the weapon into theschool. And we know from experience that they’lleven leave a window open the night before.Before leaving school, they’ll leave a window ajar,and they could pass a weapon through thewindow.
So to say that metal detectors are the solution, Ican’t buy into that.
We found that metal detectors are very subject atbest. Because when you put up a metal detector,you’re presenting a challenge to the kids to bringa gun to school.
We do use weapon detector dogs who conductperiodic sweeps at the parking lots and thelockers, mainly as a deterrent type of method. Butthe most effective method that we found so far isby these officers talking to the kids on a dailybasis. The kids have extremely good rapport withthe officers, and they trust the officers. And whenthey find out that there’s a gun on campus, theywill come tell the officer stationed here at theseschools that so and so has a gun. Because theyare concerned for their safety.
It’s not unusual for us to get a call from a gangmember and warn us of impending trouble.They’ll let us know, hey, so and so is carrying atech-22 or a tech-9, so be on the lookout. That’show we get our information.
But I think the better approach is to look at kidsand say, what are we trying to do. We go back toour mission statement. Ours is to build productivecitizens. Citizenship means taking responsibilityfor your actions. We want students to get to theplace of being responsible for their community,their campus. They are responsible to report to uswhen things are going on there at that school. It’spart of their community and part of theireducational environment.
And they do call us and tell us. So I’m concernedmore with building in to kids a sense that you’reresponsible rather than relying on some piece ofequipment to give me a sense of security that allis well when in reality, it turns out all is not well.And then where am I? I have all this expensiveequipment, and I have told the community thatit’s going to work now. We’ve got these metaldetectors in place, and you should have a safeschool. And then three days later we haveweapons showing up on the campus. Now whatdo I tell to the parents?
Better to say that that is an option to consider, butyou have to consider many things along with it. Isyour school environmentally designed to dealwith that? If you have multiple points where thekids can come in, it’s not going to work aseffectively as one point. If there are timeconstraints, it’s going to be a problem. Howsensitive are you going to make that equipment,selectivity ratings and such?
So I’m not saying there’s something wrong withmetal detectors. I say we don’t use them on aregular basis here. We’re more interested inhaving children buy in to the responsibility for thecampus. And it is working. So I stay with thatapproach.
In terms of searching on a school grounds, there’stwo different sets of parameters that we go by.Number one, as an officer– any law enforcementofficer regardless, of his jurisdiction, has to go byprobable cause when he’s going to conduct a search. The other standard that we have as schooladministrators, by virtue of their power, theymerely have to have reasonable suspicion toconduct a search.
The problem comes about is when both the officer and the principal are working in concert.When you have an officer stationed at a schoolwho maybe works with the principal, they workvery, very well together. But that can present aproblem when an offer gets brought in on asearch that a principal is conducting when theprincipal only has reasonable suspicion. Theofficer cannot take part in that search, because assoon as the officer is directly involved, he has tohave probable cause.
In searching the lockers in the school, some of thecriteria you have to go by is obviously the schoolitself is going to own the locker. So it is theschool’s property.
Who supplies the lock on the locker is very, verycritical. If the school itself supplies the lock, thatmakes one statement. If it is a student’s lock, thatmakes a completely different statement. If thestudent owns the lock that is on the locker, he hasa reasonable expectation of privacy. So therefore,the entire Fourth Amendment spectrum comes inat that point in time if he owns the lock.
It depends also– what is the policy of the schoolin regards to searching the locker? We as peaceofficers are peace officers all the time. A schooladministrator is acting in loco parentis and hassome rights and some say-so in being able tosearch certain areas for the safety and welfare ofthe students.
A student, regardless of whether he’s a juvenile oran adult, is covered by the Fourth Amendment inmost regards. But the most important thing youhave to remember as an officer working withthese kids, if you’re conducting a search, you haveto have probable cause. If the principal isconducting a search, or a school administrator, hein most cases needs only reasonable suspicion toconduct a search. And the best thing that you cando if he asks you to accompany him on a search isto not get directly involved in it. Do not direct theprincipal where to search. Do not conduct part ofthe search for him. Because you may lose yourcase at that point in time.
So while there are various methods andtechniques that have proven to be effective, itsounds like communication with students is thekey ingredient in weapon recovery.