School Assaults: How can students learn when they're terrorized?
May 12, 2010
Parents and teachers have ample reason to be upset about the bullying at Rawson Elementary School in the Blue Hills neighborhood of Hartford.
Troublemakers regularly bully and assault other students inside and outside the pre-kindergarten to Grade 8 school, according to a recent story in The Courant. On one especially violent day, students were randomly assaulted in the school. Outside, four young men beat a 15-year-old boy who had come to pick up his younger brother. The victim was taken to St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center for treatment of multiple injuries, including a gash on his forehead that required stitches.
The president of the Hartford Federation of Teachers said the situation is "pretty close to out of control." Students allege that alcohol and marijuana are being brought to school, and that a gang has established a presence there.
It should be obvious to everyone that serious learning is impossible in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Regaining control of the school must be the first priority.
Hartford Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts met recently with Principal Gerald Martin to discuss the violence — a positive step. It is a sad commentary, however, when a small group of juveniles can create such havoc that the city's top law enforcement officer must intervene.
Rawson's Web page boasts that the school embraces a community partnership "to promote cooperation, respect and appreciation of lifelong learning." That promise sounds hollow when youthful hoodlums make it impossible for the majority of students to get the education they deserve.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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