Lockdowns in schools escalate amid student misconduct

(NewsNation) — A sign of the ongoing crisis in the classroom is the proliferation of reports of violent incidents somewhere in America practically every day.

This week alone, there was a deadly stabbing at a school in California, and the arrest of over a dozen teenagers in connection with a major disturbance in Arkansas.

Police tape and police cars visible outside a school have become an all-too-familiar sight.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, multiple fights led to a lockdown and the arrest of 13 students. One faces a felony charge for inciting a riot.

Less than 24 hours earlier, a lockdown was reported in California after a deadly fight at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa.

A freshman was charged in the stabbing death of 16-year-old Jayden Pienta. The deadly violence has one mom considering a move to another district.

“Thinking that you’re going to drop your son off and you’re going to pick him up later and just … that parent is never going to pick him up again and that’s really heartbreaking,” said Esmerelda Lopez.

The causes driving the crisis in classrooms are complex. But one school safety expert claims leniency is a factor.

“A lack of consequences for behavior in school, and a lack of accountability is a problem that people don’t feel that they’re going to have any serious consequence for fighting or for doing something violent,” said Dr. Amy Klinger, director of Educator’s School Safety Network.

Research indicates that orderly classrooms may no longer be the norm.

According to the National Center for Education statistics, the last academic year saw a 56% jump in student misconduct.

Rowdiness, disrespect toward staff and the prohibited use of electronic devices are also up sharply.

And it’s not just actual violence upending education.

This week also brought a swatting incident at a high school in Topeka, Kansas.

“This is not a joking matter, said Topeka Police Chief Bryan Wheeles. “This is nothing that the law enforcement community or the public safety community or the city leadership in any city takes with any grain of humor whatsoever.”

What Wheeles called a waste of public resources was also wasted classroom time for thousands of students.

“It is a societal problem,” said Dr. Klinger. “If you don’t like what’s happening in your schools, you need to take a look at your family and your community and your society, because schools are a reflection of that.”

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