School Violence

Topics: Violence, Bullying, High school Pages: 7 (2642 words) Published: December 4, 2012
In nearly every school’s mission statement, it is stated the school will provide a safe environment for all children; yet, every day on the news, there are stories in which a teenager commits suicide or a teenager has inflicted pain on another student. Most of these stories stem from one common denominator: the student had been a victim of violence in schools. In recent years, it seems these types of news stories have been on the rise and brought to many people’s attention. When a student enters a school building, it should be a safe haven where the students feel protected and out of harms way; however, that is not always the case. All over the country, many students fear entering school buildings because they know it is a place where they may be teased, bullied, and physically or mentally abused. Educators must be aware of these issues and educate themselves on how to keep students safe both in and out of school. The American Federation of Teachers (2010) suggest in order for school violence to decrease there must be a district wide commitment to safe, orderly schools, including a real effort by district officials to stand behavior school employees with the support they need – and a commitment by administrators to forge a cooperative effort with school employees aimed at educating students, parents and member of the community about the need for tough but fair discipline policies (Behavior-Management Techniques for Safe Schools pg. 2). Moreover, schools need involvement from all stakeholders in the school district to ensure proper plans are put in place to deal with violence appropriately when situations arise. Physical violence is defined as an “aggressive behavior where the actor or perpetrator uses his or her own body or an object (including a weapon) to inflict (relatively serious) injury to discomfort to another individual” (Angkaw p. 4). One common misconception is people believe school violence will not happen at their schools; however, the reality of it is that violence is happening in nearly every school. As author Wilde asserts, “There are no completely safe schools or communities. The epidemic of violence can happen anywhere” (Anger Management in Schools, 2002 p.2). When one assumes violence would not happen at their school, this is turn creates naïve, preconceived notions which ultimately inhibits school stakeholders to create a plan of action incase a situation were to arise and more importantly, for educators to take threats seriously. Accepting the harsh reality violence can happen anywhere is the first step for schools to take in the process of creating a plan for a safe environment for their students. Violence not only poses a threat to individual students, but it also “disrupts the learning process and has a negative effect on students, the school itself, and the broader community” (Centers for Disease Control 2008). One of the biggest concerns for teachers is visually seeing the violence occur. In most cases, violence occurs when a teacher is not present; therefore, it can become a complex task to identify those that inflict violence on others (unless it is physical violence) because it becomes a “he-said she-said” guessing game. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states most violence occurs during transitional periods such as lunch, passing periods, and before or after school. In order to reduce the number of violent acts, schools must ensure staff is properly supervising and monitoring in multiple locations throughout school grounds during transitional periods. The question arises why there is a widespread violence in schools during students’ teenage years. According to authors Kindlon and Thompson, “Dramatic statistics confirm that boys, as a group, are more aggressive and violent” compared to girls (Raising Cain p. 219). The authors claim the common trait among boys who commit crimes is the boys are angry thus they hurt those around them (Kindlon and Thompson p. 220). In the book...
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