The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

School Threats

Nov 21, 2022

Within one week in November, five schools in the Metro Detroit area were closed, evacuated or locked down because of threats of violent attacks on the schools. Police arrested two suspects, a 16-year-old in Ferndale and a 14-year-old in Taylor.

These incidents, almost coinciding with the first anniversary of a deadly shooting at Oxford High School near Detroit, which took four lives, certainly put students, parents and school workers on edge. And it’s not just shootings and threats in the Detroit area. In these days of the internet, news of incidents in other parts of the country spread quickly, causing anxiety and stress in the communities involved. On the same day the two students were arrested, for example, there were two shootings and two threats of shootings that were deemed serious by authorities in the U.S. and Canada.

Many of the threats may be pranks, or previous threats being circulated by teenagers. But they still speak to the increasing level of anxiety among young people in this country. A crisis intervention specialist likened it to tornadoes following a hurricane, after the hurricane itself causes flooding that lasts months. The hurricane in this case is "Covid, that’s lasted two years, that has caused the death of loved ones, layoffs." Then, on top of all those things, come the tornadoes: the continued stress from shootings and school closings.

Shuttering schools is the standard answer of authorities to threats on schools, just like it was their answer to the pandemic. Such closings push working-class parents into an impossible situation: fear for their children’s safety, despair over their children falling further behind in their education, having to stay at home with their children when this, for many working-class parents, means risking their jobs—several crises cascading into an avalanche that these parents are left alone to deal with!

These crises are all caused by the functioning of a capitalist society that puts the profit of a few above the needs of the population. There is only one solution for the working class: to replace it with a society run by working people ourselves.