In recent weeks, Seattle has experienced a disturbing uptick in violence directed toward students in their schools and on their streets. The perpetrators are reportedly armed and masked gangs that appear to be targeting educational institutions and their students.
The most egregious of these incidents occurred at Auburn Riverside High School when six individuals entered the school and physically attacked students. They had gained entry when a student, thinking they were allowed on campus, opened a locked side door for them. In response, the school went into lockdown, and police were called in to secure the premises.
This invasion of the school premises mirrors the violence experienced by students from Ballard High School and Whitman Middle School. For the past six weeks, gangs of masked and armed robbers have been accosting students as they walk home, stealing their valuables and, in some cases, physically assaulting them. These incidents have created an atmosphere of fear among the student body and their families.
Students are being mugged at gunpoint in the neighborhoods near two school campuses in Ballard, according to Seattle police. https://t.co/IVt0zEgQTT
— KOMO News (@komonews) October 21, 2023
An unnamed student from Ballard spoke of her fear, saying, “I can probably name five or six people I know from Ballard who have actually encountered the robbers. I feel pretty scared. It’s just crazy that this is happening so close to school, especially that it is with real guns.”
This recent spate of violence directly results from Seattle’s lax approach to crime and criminals. Over the past few years, Seattle has seen a significant reduction in police funding, with politicians and activists pushing for a “defunding the police” movement. This, combined with a general disdain for law enforcement and the promotion of restorative justice over-incarceration, has left the streets of Seattle ripe for criminals to take advantage.
The vulnerable populations, like students, suffer the most from these ill-conceived policies. Sadly, these children now consider themselves “lucky” if they are robbed and not physically harmed or worse.
The attackers, many of whom are believed to be teenagers themselves, are taking advantage of a system that seems more interested in giving them a pass than holding them accountable for their actions. A recent case involving a 16-year-old suspect in a string of armed robberies in Seattle perfectly illustrates this point. When the judge refused to grant him house arrest, the teenager was genuinely surprised, having grown accustomed to a system that too often lets criminals off the hook.
This state of affairs is unacceptable. The students of Seattle deserve to feel safe in their schools and on their streets. It is the duty of the city’s politicians, law enforcement, and community leaders to ensure that this is the case. An excellent place to start would be by reconsidering the city’s approach to crime and punishment, putting the safety and well-being of its citizens above all else.
Our children’s future should not be put at risk because of political ideologies or misguided attempts at social justice. It is time for Seattle to take a stand, reinstate law and order, and protect its students from the criminals who would do them harm.