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School violence not child’s play

Maybe school violence isn’t on the rise but recent tragedies have certainly caused incidents to be taken more seriously.

Lawrence County law enforcement agencies have responded to several incidents in recent weeks at a variety of schools, spanning the county and also the grade levels.

From bullying to inappropriate items to full-blown fights, the incidents of kids behaving badly seem to be growing.

But, that may not exactly be the case, according to local law enforcement agencies. In fact, this type of behavior has been going on for years but was handled discreetly by the schools or just dismissed as “kids being kids.”

But after school shootings such as Columbine and Virginia Tech and cases across the country of juveniles committing violent acts, school officials are more cautious than ever and try to take every case seriously.

And we applaud them for that.

No one wants to see youth punished for making simple mistakes but we also must ensure the safety of all the students that attend our schools. Individuals who want to blatantly disregard the rules, especially when it comes to harming others, should be punished accordingly.

Allowing this type of behavior to continue uncorrected simply empowers the child to keep acting out and sends the message that this will be tolerated as they move into adulthood.

Parents must do their part too.

We simply cannot expect our schools to provide all the necessary discipline and guidance needed for some youth.

That must start at home and will carry into our classrooms.