Chicago Public School’s pervasive violences gets national recognition following the fatal beating of 16-year-old honor student Derrion Albert.
- 90 Surveillance cameras to be installed – to stop what Mayor Daley called the ugly “epidemic of children killing children.”
Philadelphia Public School’s pervasive violence gets national recognition following the waylaying of at least 26 immigrant Asian students, sending seven students to the hospital.
- In response, the district installed dozens more security cameras
West Coast Contra School District’s pervasive violence gets a double dose of national attention following this fall’s homecoming dance gang rape and more recently the rape of a 12-year-old student during the school day.
- At Richmond High: “The lighting was increased over the weekend,” Superintendent Bruce Harter said. “Tomorrow we will be receiving bids for security cameras … the fencing project is under way.”
- And at El Cerrito middle school: we are moving aggressively to add fencing, lighting and security cameras where needed.
There is plenty of documentation that each of these communities was begging for more security measures long before any of these incidents occurred.
For me this calls to mind one of those dangerous interstate ramps that everyone knows about where accidents occur regularly. When finally a school bus goes off the ramp – and children die – something may be done. Meanwhile, everyone in the area was always aware of the danger, and those who could avoided the situation altogether. Those with the resources always took other routes, leaving that dangerous mess to be face only by the unaware and by those with no alternative routes.
The violence of structural poverty, racism, and misogyny was and is always right there in front of us all. Though with any luck we get to drive down another road to avoid looking at it.
And if things get too shameful, we can always offer the anonymous eye of the camera to watch over the children forced to grow up in these conditions.
Every day with every story I read, I simply ask myself what would I expect and demand for my child. More security measures is a minimum. But beyond this it seems there must be a demand for much much more.