ATLANTA GA. Oct. 26, 2007
School resource officers, sworn police officers or deputy sheriffs have been in schools across the country for years. And with the police presence has come increased arrests, physical police response in cases of fights and student outbreaks and some schools which have looked more like rioting city mobs then school campuses. Police using teargas and pepper spray and tasers to subdue and quell student fighting, outbreaks and disturbances. In recent weeks there have been numerous school shootings and school hostage situations some as large and scary as the shootings earlier this year at Virgina Tech.
Just this week a fight at a Florida school involved more than 300 students who also caused major damage at the school and took a small army of police and teargas to quell the disturbance and bring order. Another such incident on Thursday in Greesboro North Carolina where police there had to call several times for reinforcements and used teargas to help bring a large fight in a high school gym under control. Several smaller incidents in other school districts this week including Nashville Tennessee and a school in Michigan and New Jersey causes law enforcement to question whether or not students are getting more violent amongst themselves and against the police. Frequent outbreaks in schools across the nation do appear to be a common place
Here’s an example from incidents in New Jersey during a one week period.
VINELAND NJ — Police arrested 14 students in less than a week on a variety of charges ranging from assault to weapons possession and disorderly conduct. Eight students were arrested during a brawl that police said could be gang-related.
In the most recent incidents, police arrested three teens at Vineland High School and Landis Middle School about 2 p.m. Wednesday.
The following details were released Wednesday by police about the rash of student arrests:
· A 15-year-old male student was charged with possession of two pocketknives at Landis Middle School. The juvenile, who said he was afraid other students would attack him, was charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon and released to his parents.
· A 16-year-old male was charged with possession of a razor blade at Vineland High School 9-10.
· Another 16-year-old boy was charged with disorderly conduct at the 9-10 building when he attempted to fight another student on a bus during dismissal.
· Eight boys, ranging in age from 14 to 16, were charged with disorderly conduct when police broke up a large fight in a field on the north side of Chestnut Avenue at Spring Road on Tuesday afternoon.
Detective Lt. Tom Ulrich said police believe the fight was gang-related, but he declined to elaborate.
“This fight occurred at 2:30 after school was dismissed, and we’re working with school administrators to determine exactly why it occurred.”
Ulrich said several other youths involved in the fight escaped on foot.
· A 15-year-old boy was charged with assault on a school employee for allegedly pushing a security guard at Vineland High School 11-12 on Tuesday afternoon.
The juvenile allegedly refused to sit down on a bus and was told to get out of the vehicle by the security officer. He refused and pushed the officer in the process. The teen was held at the county detection center.
· Around 1:30 p.m., another 15-year-old boy was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest during a disturbance at the tennis courts at Vineland High School 9-10.
The suspect did not show up for morning class and was marked absent. He refused orders from security and staff to leave the school property, and Officer Brian Pooley of the Juvenile Unit used pepper spray during the arrest of the unruly teen.
· One person was arrested during a disturbance at a Vineland High School football game last Friday night.
Salman A. Yusuff Jr., 18, of Walnut Manor Apartments on East Walnut Road was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Police ordered several people to leave the school property because of a disturbance in the bleachers, but Yusuff refused and resisted when officers attempted to handcuff him.
Yusuff is a senior at the high school, according to police.
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