Schools Fight Violence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Schools Fight Violence

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, between 2000 and 2005 there were more than 2600 incidents involving drugs at East High and close to 400 instances of battery against a teacher. Similar stats can be found in some Shelby County Schools too. School leaders are saying enough is enough and parents agree. Joseph Taylor has three children in public schools and while he doesn't worry about their safety everyday, he admits it is in the back of his mind, "There is an absolute problems in our school systems when it comes to young people fighting, pushing. I've even experienced that at the school my children attend." A new report says statewide battery against teachers is up as are the number of weapons, other than guns, found on campus. On the other hand the number of assaults on students is down. Sandra Johnson is a counselor at Westhaven Elementary where the school has been marked a fight free zone, "Last year we probably had 20 fights, this year we've had only two fights." Memphis Schools are now implementing the Blue Ribbon campaign. To keep kids in order, corporal punishment is out and words of encouragement are in, "If we have a fight, we do one of two things either do a home suspension or a school suspension." Westhaven is celebrating 30 days without a fight and treated those who behaved with a block party and prizes. Johnson says school leaders, teachers and parents cannot only see the difference, they can hear it, "Their comments are, it's so quiet here, you know learning is going on in the building. Little changes making big differences and changing what students know as the four R's.
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