Archive for Thursday, November 18, 2004

Recent events demand heads out of the sand

November 18, 2004

Recent events in Baldwin City have underlined the fact that "it can happen here." We like to believe we're immune to the problems of world and that's a head in the sand approach that needs to end.

How many more signs do we need? The shotgun incident at Baldwin High School that came to light last week was enough, but then this week we learn of another police report being filed as a result of a "bullying" incident at BHS last week.

Some will say that it's no big deal, a boys will be boys type of thing. But, let's remember back to the first of these "events" that opened Baldwin's eyes about a month ago.

That was when the report surfaced of a Baldwin student making threats on the Internet to disrupt the annual Maple Leaf Festival with a diversion fire to draw police away, then guns and pipe bombs downtown. He wasn't a BHS student, instead he was at a Lawrence high school when the threats were made. No evidence was found in his Baldwin area home and nothing came from it.

But, why was he in Lawrence? According to police, he left BHS because he was bullied. That's where the anger came from to at least envision the disruption of the festival.

We need to at least acknowledge that things aren't "perfect" at Baldwin High. We need to take our heads out of the sand. We also need to keep in mind that the vast majority of BHS students are good kids. There can be no doubt of that and we're lucky for that.

However, we can't pass this string of events off without addressing the issues and putting a stop to it. Baker University has had its own recent series of events involving fraternities that demanded the same thing. Not only did Baker address it, but so did the individual fraternities, dealing with individuals involved and taking measures to "self police" themselves.

It doesn't have to be anything radical. It just needs to be a message that this has got to stop. School district administrators have been close mouthed about what's been done to handle the situations. That's fine when it involves the privacy of individual students.

But, let's also hope that the message is being made clear that this type of activity won't be tolerated. It worked at Baker and it can work at BHS, too.

Of course, many have suggested that it's up to the parents to really make things happen. That's true. It all does begin at home. Let's just make sure those parents are aware if there are problems involving their children. Then, they can deal with it in ways that no administrator can.

This can be a blip on the radar screen and be over if it's dealt with appropriately and kept in the open. Let's all strive to make that happen.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.