Recently, a safety poll commissioned by The California Endowment and conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates  showed strong public support for an increase of school counselors. 1,200 California voters were surveyed as to what would be best to prevent school violence.

According to the survey, linked here, 84 percent of respondents favored increasing the number of trained counselors in schools (including 55% “strongly support”). One of the survey questions asked whether they preferred placing more counselors or armed police in schools to prevent violence, more than two-thirds picking counselors over police (67% to 26%).

As a student, I believe counselors are the way to go prevent violence.  If I were to have taken the survey, I would, like the 67% of the 1200 voters, would have chosen counselors over police; mental health services over security measures such as cameras and metal detectors.

I wouldn’t like having the feeling of being watched every aching second at school; it’s too much for students.  Students are already stressed out from their classes, but to add on to that would make students go mad.

“When will security know that we’re fooling around?” says Hiram W. Johnson High School Student Josh Chapel. “I like to fool around a lot with my friends from play fighting with my friends, running up and taking their stuff to stealing their food. I don’t want a cop to think that I’m actually serious and an enemy rather than a friend to my peers, and then fear that the police will take custody of me. Do I stop acting the way I am, so cops know to not intervene?”

Security guards can stop violence they see, but what about when there is no security present?

“Honestly, I don’t think having more security solves anything,” says Johnson High School student Mario Gomez. “If I were really looking to hurt someone, I wouldn’t do it at school that’s for sure. I know that fights will be broken, and I’ll receive my consequences for even attempting to injure someone.”

Students will then resort on heavy contemplation on how to get “injure someone” outside of school where there is no security presence.

Are we going to stick security with students outside of school to make sure they won’t go after the person they were fighting? We are not handling situation correctly, if we simply break up the fight. Like unwanted weeds we find in our garden, we need to reap conflicts from their roots so they will never come back.  Mediation is the solution from counselors to peer mediation.

“I have received mediation services,” says a Johnson High school student that received their school’s peer mediation services and wishes to remain anonymous. “I got referred to mediation from my teacher because I looked mad in class. The teacher knew something was wrong and that I had a conflict with another student. After mediation, I can honestly say my conflict with another student have been resolved.”

I am a Johnson High School student and my school has peer mediation services that actually find solutions to disputes between student-to-students’ conflicts.  Students who received mediation can testify to the wonders that mediation have done for them.

By bringing more counselors into schools to provide mediation we can handle pull out conflicts from their roots.