Time to get tougher

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Why would someone want to place obstacles in the paths of teachers who want to teach, and pupils who want to learn?

That's precisely what bomb threats against schools do - and Richmond County is getting more than its unfair share. As of Feb. 1, the school district has received 51 such threats, and the academic year is far from over.

Richmond County Interim School Superintendent James Thompson is right to take every threat seriously, at a time in which Americans have soberly realized that bombs can - and do - go off practically anywhere.

"If they're students, were going to put them out," Thompson said. "If they're not, we're going to prosecute them."

But why draw the line at students? Columbia County schools don't. Its school system adopted a policy last fall recommending any offender for prosecution if someone makes a bomb threat.

If anything, an offending student of a threatened school should be punished more sternly than a nonstudent. Schools often are like families - relationships are formed and bonds are strengthened among teachers, staff, pupils and parents. For one of their own to effectively turn against the school is a stinging betrayal that should be answered harshly.

Richmond County schools struggle enough with the instructional time they have. It's unforgivable to have that squandered by malcontents with cell phones and idle hands.

Whoever the perpetrators are - students or not - throw the book at them. Throw the whole shelf.

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patriciathomas 02/12/07 - 04:30 am
Since the midsixties,

Since the midsixties, government schools have moved continuously further from a point where students are held responsible and accountable for their actions. These bomb threats are just one of the many manifestations of the lack of respect todays students have for education and the system that supports it. These type of disruptions will continue until the entire system changes. In the mean time, all people that call in threats should be harshly prosecuted. Treating a student any differently would only encourage other disgruntled students to continue the current fad.

TheTruth 02/12/07 - 07:39 am
Students ARE held accountable

Students ARE held accountable by the Richmond County school system. Students found guilty are expelled for the remainder of the year and assigned to the Alternative School for a year.

The criminal justice system is what is broken. These crimnals face no real consequnces. Put some real consequnces behind the offense, publicly announce the consequnces, hold the parents financially responsible, and I'll bet that will curtail the problem.

bone 02/12/07 - 07:10 pm
In Columbia County, a student

In Columbia County, a student admitted to a bomb threat earlier this year. She was recommended for expulsion by the school administrators. The hearing officer found her guilty of violating the school code of conduct, but only gave her a few days of ISS. She is still in attendance at school. Supposedly, there is some prosecution still looming, but what message did this send to the students?

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