Tilman Middle School is facing a dilemma this week. An eighth-grade student is accused of writing an 11-part story that details attacks on specific students, using knives, scissors, sexual assaults, and even a 7-Eleven Slurpee machine. The eighth grade student was reportedly removed from school weeks ago by his parents, but the student returned to school after spring break. His return prompted protests by parents and students. The district released a statement stating that, “he was evaluated for two weeks and then released. However, the district can’t do much because the book wasn’t written on or using school property”. Bernard James, a professor of law and education-law expert at Pepperdine University explains in the article the gray area that exists when it comes to juveniles, criminal law and to what degree schools can act upon a threat. Professor James gives two examples of two separate school responding to threats and in both cases the school district was held responsible.
This article sparked by interest because I think it’s difficult to decide what to do in this situation, As a mother I completely understand why the parents are protesting; they want to know that their children are going to be safe at school. There has been numerous cases of school violence and unfortunately once a tragedy occurs it is too late, people want to find out why and wish they could have prevented it but it’s too late. Here we have a situation where this book was found before a tragedy occurred but what should happen to this student? This student obviously needs help, the students who he accuses of bullying him should also get help and see what led up to the creation of this book. I wonder, if this student stays at this school will the parents take their children out of school and transfer them to a different school? If this student gets the proper treatment or therapy and is monitored shouldn’t he be allowed to stay at the school? Or will he be harassed for his action even though he is getting help? Should the parents of this student remove him from the school? So many questions and I don’t have the answers.
On July 1, 1993 San Francisco experienced its worst mass shooting in the city’s history. Gian Luigi Ferri, was an armed gunman who entered the Petit and Martin Law Offices on the 34th floor; he killed eight people and wounded six and then he took his own life away. This tragic event sparked a gun control debate on a national level. Steve Sposato lost his wife in the shooting, weeks after the shooting Sposato and other victims’ families and Den. Dianne Feinstein raised the issue of gun control in the national realm. The group’s activism eventually led to the historic assault weapons ban signed into law by President Bill Clinton. As I read an article about this tragedy the article mentioned that although California has some of the strongest gun laws in the country, there have been numerous tragedies across the country. The topic of gun control laws are always a huge topic but it’s unfortunate that these laws don’t get passed until after a tragedy occurs.
We probably all saw the video or heard the news about the SAE fraternity at the University of Oklahoma. Above is the link if you haven’t. This racist video is absolutely disgraceful, but for once a university President has taken a strong stance on this issue and has directly dealt with it and spoken about it.
“To those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way, I have a message for you. You are disgraceful. You have violated all that we sand for. You should not have the privilege of calling yourselves “Sooners”. Real Sooners are not racist. Real Sooners are not bigots. Real Sooners believe in equal opportunity. Real Sooners treat all people with respect. Real Sooners love each other take care of each other like family members.
“Effective immediately, all ties and affiliations between this University and the local SAE chapter are hereby severed. I direct that the house be closed and that members will remove their personal belongings from the house by midnight tomorrow. Those needing to make special arrangements for positions shall contact the Dean of Students.
“All of us will redouble our efforts to create the strongest sense of family and community. We vow that we will be an example to the entire country of how to deal with this issue. There must be a zero tolerance for racism everywhere in our nation.
I am very glad that that SAE chapter is closed and I hope that the National organization strips them away of their membership for life. You will often hear about fraternities and sororities on the news when an issue like racism, sexual harassment, violence, and hazing occur; furthermore, there will be some people who will defend those actions by stating that they are simply college kids, they don’t know what they are doing. I am sick and tired of hearing excuses, people need to start owning up to their actions and they need to face the consequences. I know so many incredible Greek organizations and members who work so hard to bring positive change into their campus and into their communities and their work doesn’t get recognized. That is why I hope that in the future if problems occur where a fraternity or sorority are committing acts of racism, violence, or hazing I hope that their national organization and senior administrators speak up like President Boren and I hope they too have zero tolerance.
This week I came across this TED video about Bill and Melinda Gates. Their conversation is about how they decided that the wealth that had come from Microsoft would be given back to society. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation revolves around two main causes; one focuses on a global issue and the other on an issue in the United States. Bill and Melinda decided that the biggest inequality globally were children dying, from nutrition, disease and not being able to develop because of illness or malnutrition. In the United States they decided to focus on education. The narrator asked both Melinda and Bill to choose a photograph that illustrated their work. The discussion got interesting because Melinda was talking about access to contraceptives, and the controversy around this issue. Although Melinda is Catholic she believes in contraceptives and she decided to be the one to bring this issue back on the global stage. She knew that women all over the world were wanting access to contraceptives, and she wasn’t going to let the controversy around this topic hold her back. I found this video to be very interesting especially after writing my ethical dilemma paper because I am fascinated to see how other people make decisions even if they may conflict with their moral or ethical beliefs. The entire video is interesting they go on and talk about their failures, and their children and how they do not plan on making their children billionaires because they want them to realize and have a sense that their own work is meaningful and important. Lastly, they discuss how Bill and Melinda and Warren Buffett have been, “going around trying to persuade other billionaires and successful people to pledge to give, what, more than half of their assets for philanthropy”. That is pretty generous. If you were a billionaire would you give more than half of your assets for philanthropy?