Opinion: School buses

POSTED: 02/9/12 1:45 PM

Violence on school buses has suddenly become a hot topic again after a recent stabbing incident. We hear a lot of oohs and aahs, but apparently there is nobody around with solutions to put a stop to this juvenile violence.

In the past school buses have been subjected to searches by police, and these searches always netted something. Scissors, knives, machetes, they were all part of what kids think they need “to protect themselves” at school.

Where does this mentality come from? It is almost as bad as the mindset of gun nuts who think that they only way to get through life and to protect your family in a decent way is by carrying a firearm. We don’t want to get into a verbal shootout with Peter Gunn, an established proponent of more liberal gun laws, because his mantra is wearing thin and starts feeling like a religious dogma.

It’s time to think about alternatives. There are plenty of those around, but they usually take more money and more effort to yield results.

Gun nuts think the world is simple. You encounter a problem, you grab your gun, you pull the trigger and bam – your problem is solved.

They do not realize that this does not solve anything. Just look at the Vesuvius-investigation where the theft of ten kilos of cocaine has resulted in four murders.

The real solution is found in education and awareness. Since education seems to be a problem, let’s take a look at that other option: awareness.

Here we get back to what we have pointed out many a time before. Everything that happens to you in life is the result of choices you have made.

For instance, if someone chose not to pay attention in school, the result is low grades. That results in fewer opportunities for further education and in the end, this results in limited options in the labor market.

From there, we see that the position in the labor market determined someone’s income. A lower income limits options for the place where someone will live. Everybody’s got to pay rent and nobody is able to afford comfortable housing on a meager income.

Once someone is in  such a situation, the environment starts to play a role: in low income housing, people are surrounded by others who find themselves in the same situation. We’re not saying that all people who live in low income housing projects are bad – not at all. We’re saying that this is an environment where people usually start looking for opportunities to cut corners. They want to better themselves one way or the other, because they want to be part of our consumption society filled with flat screens, smartphones and nice cars.

But if one’s income does not allow these luxuries, cutting corners quickly turns into a pattern of criminal activity. Maybe it starts with a little shoplifting – irritating for the shopkeepers, but nobody dies. But it is a slippery slope and soon at least some of these low income corner cutters will start to dream big. They want that Hummer, they want all that bling bling.

And not before long, they find themselves involved in dealing drugs. On a small scale that seems innocent enough, especially if it concerns soft drugs. But people graduate from that scene too, because there is simply more money to be had from hard drugs like cocaine.

Becoming an errand boy for the big shots in the drugs scene is not at all that complicated. A big drug dealer probably prefers a never touch the product philosophy: he organizes, he directs, maybe he finances, but he lets others do the dirty work.

Now one day, at least some of these errand boys start to dream big. They want to become a big shot too. And then, one day, they decide to rip off their superiors in the drugs scene. This is about the best guarantee for a one way trip to the graveyard.  Point in case: Amador Jones.

This chain of events shows that one negative step leads to the next one – and the situation never improves. It just gets worse every time, until there is some sort of violent confrontation that ends all the self-inflicted misery.

The kids on our school buses ought to read this piece. It will give them a very good reason never to fight again on their way to school and to pay attention to what their teachers serve them. That way, they stand a pretty good chance to end up with a decent hob, a decent income and a decent house in a decent neighborhood where drugs-related killings are something  they read about in the newspapers.

Did you like this? Share it:
Opinion: School buses by

Comments are closed.