School has just barely started and we already have another terrifying incident of school violence. A 17-year-old student was killed and three other students injured in a stabbing incident at a Houston-area high school. Police believe that shortly after 7 a.m., a fight broke out in the cafeteria of Spring Hill High School in North Houston. The fight escalated, resulting in the four casualties. Two of the students suffered minor injuries while the third was airlifted to a Houston hospital and is in surgery. Police are not saying what was used in the stabbings, calling it only a "cutting instrument." The student who was killed has been identified by his family as Joshua Broussard.
While witnesses and the community have suggested the fight and stabbings were gang-related, officials are not ready to confirm that. Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia says, "We have three persons of interest our investigators are interviewing at the moment. There has been some information that this may have been gang-related, but it's a very dynamic scene and investigators are collecting information. We'll work through that as we get it."
It's a comfort to know that the Spring Independent School District's own police department responded to the incident within 60 seconds. But ... hold on, this is a district with its own police department? Oh wow. It just makes me want to cry that a school district would need that. What's wrong with us?
While a lot of us worry about too much testing and not enough physical activity, other parents have to worry about whether their kids will survive the day. It's an embarrassment that a lot of our schools can't seem to educate our kids because they can't even keep our kids safe enough to learn something.
The reasons behind this are complex, and we can't just blame it all on schools. Many of these incidents happen in communities that are already suffering from violence and lack of resources. And then we scoop up the kids, shove them into a holding pen, and leave a handful of dedicated (or, quite often, burned out) adults to manage. Is that really the best we can do?
I don't claim to have the answers. Like I said, school violence is a complex problem. But as we begin a new school year, I hate to think that something like this is going to happen again ... and again. We know it will.
Do you worry about your kids' safety at school?
Image via Heather/Flickr