Assignment: Research paper – The factors contributing to student violence and crime in schools.
This paper delves into the issues of school violence which has been plaguing our society for a number of years, causing detrimental effects to the development of our country, the improved lives of our citizens and the well-being of children. Moral development of individuals is closely related to conforming to certain norms and standards of society, and control of antisocial or negative behavior is absolutely necessary in preventing delinquent behavior. The stages of moral development should be understood to delineate the positive or negative impact of non-conformity. After complete moral development, individuals may choose to not conform to social standards and try to move beyond norms. This is not always negative and would be associated with novelty and creativity. However when moral development is hindered at an early stage of life when children ignore moral values and ethics of society for their own selfish pursuits and there is a complete lack of external control, the moral development is truncated and lead to criminal behavior in later life. A restraining factor in violent acts of crime is rational thinking and if individuals can rationalize, reflect and understand the seriousness of crimes, they would be deterred from engaging in crimes and would thus in turn aid their own moral and personal development. Moral development of children would be dependent on several factors and according to psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg, the first stage of moral reasoning is of obedience and avoiding punishment, the second stage is keeping up to expectations of family members and the final stage is moving beyond social conventions. Students that commit violent acts of crime have incomplete moral development as their behavior may be motivated by a desire to break the law and challenge obedience and punishment. There are different categories of violent behaviours that take place in the school context, including those directly directed towards objects or school material and those directly directed towards individuals such as teachers and peers. The first one would refer to acts of vandalism such as breaking desks or doors, painting names, messages and graffiti’s on the school walls, And the second type would include verbal and physical aggressions towards the teachers or peers, and serious problems of discipline in the class such as disobeying the school internal regulations. Out of all these behaviours, fights between peers are the most frequent ones, whether it is one to one or between groups. In today’s society, the influence of media, the glorification of money and power, the portrayal of aggression as socially more valued than nurturing, the acceptance of condemnation instead of caring have cultivated in the cognitive schema of our students the perception that any attempt to weigh matters against ethical positions is light and soft – attributes that are asynchronous with the rough and ravenous disposition of those perceived to be successful, wealthy and socially elitist. Parents and teachers are very influential in a child’s development. We have to be very conscientious and methodical in the way we model behaviours and attitudes regarding students’ growth and development. Around the world, newspapers and the broadcast media report daily on violence by gangs in schools. Of all acts of crime and violence committed among children, those that take place within schools are the most frequent. Students that commit violent acts of crime generally lack the ability to control their emotions and are incapable of expressing their rage without hurting someone in the process. Students that display these behavioural problems usually have very low self-esteem and self-worth and they seek to take out their frustration on uninvolved victims, blaming them for their misfortunes. Youth violence...
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