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 Security and Admin.: Attacks and Their Aftermath
 Crossing the Line
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The Great Pumpkin

8 Posts

Posted - 2007 January 04 :  09:28:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There are some college administrators, who when confronted with evidence of their security guards using excessive force against students, decide that it is easier to ignore the problem than to fix it. Administrators, fearful of lawsuits, know that they can be held liable for the actions of security and sometimes reason that disciplining or firing a security guard is an admission of guilt. The problem is that once employees of a college sense that they can get away with hitting students, they are more likely to do so in the future. Just as a wife-beater tends to administer harsher and harsher beatings once he knows that his victim wonít complain to the authorities, college employees take greater and greater liberties when there is no one to control their behavior.

Colleges have a great amount of power over their students, who can face consequences if they complain about security behavior. Sometimes colleges justify retaliatory responses by claiming that by complaining about securityís actions rather than meekly accepting punishment, a student demonstrates lack of remorse for his behavior. Sometimes colleges do not feel the need to justify their actions at all. Students unfairly expelled from one college often have difficulty enrolling in another, for many colleges have policies automatically denying admission to any student not in good standing at the college they are attempting to transfer from. As a result, few students are willing to press charges, sue, or testify against their college, and if students do decide to seek legal remedies, convictions and civil damages can be hard to get as colleges have far greater financial resources to wage legal battles than students.

At Gallaudet University in 1990, a security guard killed a student with an illegal choke hold. He was found not guilty despite student testimony, and the college kept the security guard and ultimately promoted him. This is described at Violence has not yet escalated to the point of security killing a student at St. Johnís College and hopefully never will. However, people should not take the incidents of security misconduct at St. Johnís lightly. It is easy for people fond of their college to believe that such things can happen only at other colleges. The students at Gallaudet discovered too late that it can happen anywhere where the administration shortsightedly ignores evidence of employee wrongdoing.
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