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Matthew Ceder

Thinking Man,

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Pepper Spray in Schools, used by Security Guards. Good or Bad?

Today recently in City of Norfolk, Virginia. We have had a series of incidents being reported. Something like a phenomena. The local news has been reporting security officers using pepper spray on kids in middle school during certain altercations. In one incident it was a fight the security officer was trying to break up and another was a food fight in the cafeteria they were trying to contain. In both schools all kids involved in both incidents were sent to the school nurse and checked out okay, just some irritation from the spray. A letter was sent home to parents in both cases informing them of the incidents. Some locals and parents claimed relief and cheered the security guards for their actions, "this should be mandatory in all schools" some say. Some disagree. They say "children should not be exposed to such things that can cause harm and or fear".

Pepper spray is a legal and nonlethal self defense weapon also used by Police and Mailmen and are proven not to cause any lifelong issues. It also has a very good history in saving lives and neutralizing altercations. It does so well it is even available over the counter at most convenient stores.

The schools in Norfolk do permit the use of pepper spray in school. The employment status of both these guards are pending during investigation. Some argue their innocence and some argue their guilty. They are alleged to have used the pepper spray out of misconduct. What do you think?

Right now Norfolk public school's policy for use of pepper spray is under review. Should security guards in schools be permitted to carry and use nonlethal weapons such as pepper spray for handling these kind of incidents or should they not?





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    Nov 8 2011: I'm not sure where we are with this conversation and I'm not sure if Restorative principles have been mentioned as an alternative to pepper spray? Here where i work with at risk YP's if heated conflict breaks out we sit down and address the issue . We talk about the causes, problem solving skills, non violent approaches. We give apologies and we shake hands. Simple stuff. Powerful stuff. The young people feel so much better afterwards as though a great burden has been lifted. Of course a lot of anger is brought from the home into the schools and sometimes it is necessary to source the root of the problem.
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      Nov 11 2011: Idk, I have been through this type of thing before in a hospital for disturbed children. I was there for being suicidal. I was being bullied relentlessly simply because I was different and didn't care to fit in. I remember one time in high School after a incident we did this in the office, they wanted us to make friends and shake hands, but even though I was willing to, the other guy merely played along with it and continued to be a problem for me regardless. I do appreciate your input though, this tactic is good for neutralizing most problems that are of a lower level. But I can go into detail about the severity of some of the fights at that school. one girl punched another girls eye in with a bottle of hot sauce once. yes the fight was over the hot sauce.... Anyways in severe cases I believe it is a good idea for the security to be present in schools and to use pepper spray. However I do not feel it is necessary in all schools. Kids in some places are less rowdy than others. I personally felt safe knowing the security had spray, though it was never used then. Then again, I wouldn't want to get sprayed because I am getting beat up. I think the use of spray should only be when both students or more are escalating the fight by fighting back and or refusing to cease when demanded by security. other wise there will be a slew of innocent by standers if used in every incident.

      I also agree that your tactics should be used in schools, if we can raise kids with that attitude perhaps when they get older they will not be so rowdy. thank you for sharing Phillip.

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