Do you take your gun to school?

A majority of U.S. teenagers have used violence in the past year, and one in five high school boys takes a weapon to school, according to a new survey. "The seeds of violence can be found in schools all over America," said the California-based Institute of Ethics President Michael Josephson. "Today's teens, especially boys, have a high propensity to use violence when they are angry, they have easy access to guns, drugs and alcohol, and a disturbing number take weapons to school," Mr. Josephson is quoted by Reuters as saying. America is experiencing an epidemic of deadly school violence. In 1999, two teenagers killed 15 people including themselves at Columbine High School in Colorado. In March, two teenagers died and 13 people were wounded at Santana High School in Santee, California, after a 15-year-old who was new to the school allegedly opened fire in a boy's bathroom. The suburban San Diego shooting spurred a flurry of copycat shootings across the United States and a renewed national debate about youth violence. The random survey, conducted last year among more than 15,000 teen-agers at schools nation-wide, showed that 75 percent of boys and 60 percent of girls said they had hit someone out of anger in the past year. Moreover, the survey showed that 43 percent of high school boys, 37 percent of middle school boys and 19 percent of high school and middle school girls believed it was OK to hit or threaten a person who made them angry. More than one in five, or 21 percent of high school boys, and 15 percent of middle school boys, took a weapon to school at least once in the past year. At the same time, 60 percent of high school and 31 percent of middle school boys said they could get a gun if they wanted. The category of weapons was broad, including guns and knives, said an institute spokesman.

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