By: Krystle Crossman
Social media is filled with violence. Often you will find videos of students fighting in the halls and on school grounds. Other kids are seen egging on the students, laughing as the assaults continue all while capturing the fight on a cell phone. While it seems like nothing is being done to combat this violence in the public school system, the state of Missouri has a change to their legislation that may make students think twice. Right now a student who injures another student in a fight is charged with a misdemeanor assault and is sent home from school. As of January 1st, 2017 the punishment is much worse. Any student who is caught assaulting another student will be charged with a Class E Felony. This could land them in jail for up to four years if they are convicted.
Sikeston PD Sergeant Jon Broom says that parents really need to talk to their children about the serious consequences of fighting with one of their peers. He states that this is something that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. When someone has been charged and convicted of a felony it can be very hard for them to get a job, get an apartment, or even get into college. Sergeant Broom hopes that students will take this new rule very seriously and think about what could happen if they injure another student. The long-term effects of a felony on a student’s record can be devastating and sometimes kids do not realize this because they are so young and can sometimes think that they are invincible to real consequences.
This may sound like a consequence that is only for older students, such as those in high school, but it applies to any student of any age. It doesn’t matter what grade they are in. If they are found to have been fighting and they have caused an injury they will be charged with a felony whether they are 8 or 18. The hope is that this will prevent the rise in violence that we are seeing in public schools. So far it appears that Missouri is the only state to put this into effect however if it proves to be a good preventive measure for violence, other states are likely to follow.