In order to reduce and eventually eliminate school violence in our nation, we must first understand the causes and signs that lead to violence. If we can understand the causes, we can perhaps eliminate these factors from the lives of children. Similarly, if we can recognize the factors that lead to school violence, we can take measures to intervene before violence is imminent. The following are the causes and signs of school violence.
The first step in eliminating the problem of school violence is to understand the factors that cause it (Nemecek, 1998). There are numerous factors that contribute to school violence. Some children may be influenced by only one factor, while other's tendencies to violence may be a result of exposure to several of these factors. The causes of school violence will be described in the following paragraphs.
Parental involvement is an important factor in determining potentially violent behavior. A child often looks to their parents as role models, as well as for moral guidance. (Portman, 1999). Therefore, if the parent tends to behave in an aggressive manner, the child will tend to mimic this behavior. Parents are also responsible for appropriately disciplining their child. If a parent refuses to address their child's aggressive behavior, the child may become violent in nature. Similarly, a parent who abuses and/or neglects their child is possibly contributing to the spread of violence in schools (Futrell & Powell, 1996). Joseph Guiliano states that youths who live in families where violence is common are at the greatest risk for comingging violence (Guiliano, 1994). The American Psychological Association (APA), claims that family characteristics such as criminal history of the parent, rejection of the child, physical or emotional abuse, or lack of parental supervision are the "strongest predictors" in the potential for violent behavior (Blankenstein, et al., 1995). Therefore, parents need to be aware of the behavior they display in front of their children.