Monday, April 30, 2007

From School to Jail: You're Only a Few Steps Away

Today I'm going to go on a very short rant, because the most exciting thing to talk about is Alec Baldwin, and that means there's nothing much to talk about in the news.

So instead I'm going to bring up a question that's been bothering me for some time: Why would you locate a school across the street from the county jail? It was done in Clearwater three years ago. The name of the school is Bayside High School.

As is noted in Wikipedia, Bayside has 65 surveillance cameras. However, you are only as good as your staff and your defenses. I doubt they have 65 guards watching the monitors at all times. It wouldn't be difficult for a newly-released sex offender or murderer, intent on doing harm, to acquire a weapon and head across the street.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

It could be argued that this same sex offender or murderer could drive to yet another school and be just as dangerous, but the truth is that the close proximity definately adds to the possibility.

And say that the ex-felon is even smarter than that. These are high school students, after all. That means that they drive. Many students will stop by a nearby convenience store for gas and snacks before or after school. How difficult would it be for an ex-felon to hang out there for a little while before or after school?

If a lion has two options; travel far across the Savannah for dinner or catch his supper in his own backyard; he will be looking close to home. All predators behave similarly. Do we expect our own predators to behave differently?


Hans said...

Bayside High is the school of last resort for problem students. The worst of the worst. The school is located where it is because nobody wanted it in their neighborhood. The school system already owned the property and the proximity of the jail and the associated increased presence of law enforcement doesn't hurt either. The surveillance cameras aren't for watching who comes on to campus but to monitor the students already there.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Hans, creepy. So, basically they're at Bayside until they get transferred across the street?

Ed Abbey said...

I write this comment about criminals other than the sex offenders because the latter have their "weapons" with them where ever they go.

You make it seem as if weapons grow on trees around the jail and school. Where is a criminal going to pick one up while crossing the street? By the time they found a weapon through the black market because legally they are out of luck, I'm guessing they would be miles away from the school.

So assuming they don't have a weapon, why go in the school? They are right across the street from their previous home and would have to know that sooner or later, they will get caught and put right back. There only chance is to run like hell and to remain unnoticed.

Although I can't find any statistics, I would bet living next door to a prison is probably safer than in the bad part of town.

Hans said...

That is the way I understand it. The next step is juvenile hall.

Anonymous said...

Bayside is not for the "worst of the worst". It is for students behind on credits and at risk of dropping out. High school students in Pinellas who get into big trouble (drugs, weapons, etc.) get transferred to Norwood High School. Some of the most creative, interesting students end up at Bayside because they lack parental direction to focus them.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Saur - people fresh out of jail usually do not have weapons. Unless they have a shank stuck up their rear end. But this is rare, people that know they are going to be released do not want to do anything that will cause them to not get out. Getting found with a weapon will delay your release.

The students on the other hand are more likely to be well armed.

Criminals fresh out of jail usually do not hang out there very long. They are gone. And if the jail staff notices them going to the school (there are cameras outside that jail) they may send a team across the street to nab them.

I think this is all to do about nothing. New schools are boxes with limited entrances. Put a school cop at the main entrance, and have all the other doors open only from inside the building.

Plus, if this is a last chance school, the proximity of the jail is probably a good thing. A lot of the kids that go there will likely end up across the street at some point.

kiokwus said...

Seems that no matter the subject is, there must be something about sex offenders included or it will not be read.
" offenders...have their "weapons" with them where ever they go.

Seems the public has been brainwashed to the extent that should an article or blog be posted, belittling sex offenders is the target of choice. Poeple understand only what it told to them. If it came down to "All people with purple hair are dangerous" then the people react negatively towards purplr haired people. Same goes with sex offenders. The media and who ever else confuse sex offenders with sexually violant predators. There is a vast difference between the two.

Sex offenders, especially in Florida, are pissers behind a tree, bush, dumpster, to teens getting caught having sex. There are many other offenses that qualify as a "sex offender" with the vast majority coming from home or those with familial influence towards the victim. Many of these people are rehabilitable and would again live a lawdul contributing life as a member of society, if for not the continual creation of new laws, ordinances, zonings, prohibatations, that come down nearly everyday.

Violent sexual preditors are inclined to commit offenses such as rape, kidnapping molesting and murdering their victim, those who have more than one conviction for sexual offenses, those unable to control their actions and declaired un rehabilitable.

Yet the terms are becoming symnominess and is used to create fear in the communities, as well as garner votes come election time. It would be politicail suicide if they stood up and declaired these laws are both wrong and unconstitutional. They make the unknowing public feel at ease while the fact remains, these laws do not protect anyone from any form of sexual abuse.

So when you have days that nothing interests you, do some research about the truth of sexual offenders, recidivism, and the unconstitutional application of feel-good laws. Remember as well that most sex offenders so have a wife and children. They suffer from the public and government each time someone makes living where they are, hell. The bullies at school have a daily target, wives lose jobs due to the "status" their mate carries. The harm goes on with no end in sight.

kiokwus or

Hans said...

Anon- It's possible that I was overstating.

ZMan! said...

Check this out, you'll be shocked:

Senor Caiman said...


I didn't know about Bayside or Norwood. That Principal at Norwood seems like trouble, why does her name ring a bell?

Integration in Pinellas county has created a huge population of trash blanca and trash negra. Does Pinellas County have any schools geared toward intelligent children?

I was called for jury duty last month so I am familiar with that area and it is like Disney compared to south St. Pete.

Excellent post.

Saur said...

Caiman, There ARE some schools geared toward intelligent kids. However, I know of one that's attending a gifted program where the teacher doesn't believe in grades...(?!) How nice. Let's hope that this remains the case for those children all the way through college...?

Zman, welcome to the blog. I looked over your site. The problem is that these stories are either not easily verified, or could be outright lies from the perpetrators. I realize that there are always some innocents involved, but there is no doubt that the vast majority of sex offenders were rightly convicted.

Kiokwus, welcome to the blog. You are very defensive about the sexual offender/whatever you may want to call it. However, ANY type of sex offender (violent or otherwise) has done something nasty that has resulted in the label. I'm sorry, I don't think that exposing yourself in public should merit merely a slap on the wrist. Granted, if they haven't been violent previously they MAY not be violent now. However, studies in human nature teach us that behavior is always progressive. Bundy didn't start out killing college girls, after all.

Lazy Iguana & Ed, If they're met by an accomplice after they get out of jail, acquiring a weapon is the easiest thing in the world.

Hans, again, thanks for the weigh-ins.