|Dallas ISD police have not seized any weapons so far this year. But how much of that is due to increasingly angelic students, and how much to kids failing to report when they see a peer with a weapon?|
When it comes to reporting weapons in schools, kids are often each others' best watchdogs. In light of the recent Washington high school shooting, and the school shootings in recent years at Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and Columbine, police departments across the country are constantly brainstorming new ways to decrease the likelihood of violent events occurring on school grounds.
Researchers at UT-Dallas compiled specific data concerning how, when and why students report seeing weapons in school. According to the study, 34 percent of students anonymously report seeing a weapon of some sort on campus sometime in the last three months.
"That number was higher than we expected," concedes Dr. Nadine Connell, one of the authors of the study. "But the flip side was on average over 90 percent reported being willing to tell someone about that. They're not ignoring it; they're not taking it on as their own responsibility."
In Dallas ISD, Police Chief Craig Miller says campus security depends on students coming forward when they see a potentially dangerous situation. "What would happen, and it's not unusual, is if social media or a friend told us someone had a weapon, we would discreetly confront or try to ascertain whether that was correct," he says. More »