Tag Archives: school violence

Safety and Student Discipline

School violence is the number one concern of parents of school age children. Rightfully so, the news is saturated in recent years of stories that tell us that anything and everything is imaginable at school. School administrators and state government officials have set in place many changes that include more harsh punishments for those that attempt to bring guns or other weapons to school or who try to execute bomb threats (real or not). They are also working on prevention of these incidents.

Studies continue to show that our schools are a very safe place but the public perceives schools to be increasingly unsafe. While there are incidents of violence in our schools from time to time the media coverage may play a large role in making the general public believe that they happen more often than they really do.
Because acts of violence are often accompanied by gangs and drug use, parents and administrators are demanding that tougher punishments be put in place. Essentially, most people want zero tolerance of such behaviors. Schools rely heavily on the ability to suspend or expel students for such acts.
In 1994 the Safe and Guns Free Schools Act was signed and basically means that schools will expel for a minimum of one year any student who brings a gun to school. This act started as a way to deal with guns in school but has now spread to deal with other weapons, acts of violence, drugs and alcohol as well as disruptive behavior.
While most parents and administrator are happier with the zero tolerance way of handling things, there are those that argue that it is too strict and does not take into account any extenuating circumstances.

Public School Safety

Statistics currently show that homeschooling is the fastest growing “school” in our country in the past few years. When parents who chose this option were asked what their top reasons were a large majority were concerned about public school safety and how it would affect their children.

Since the Columbine shootings that occurred in 1999 it is probably safe to say that we are all a bit nervous about the growing problems in our schools. Take that with the college shooting and violence that we know of and it is a huge problem. On just about any nightly news channel you can find something in regards to school security or school violence.
So what are the schools doing about these problems? How are they increasing security and taking precautions so that we can all feel safe sending our children to their doors? And how do they make the children feel safe so that they are in a frame of mind where they can achieve academic success?
Here are a few things that many schools across the country have implemented or are working on to improve safety.
  • Police presence at schools. In today’s world there are rarely schools (other than elementary schools) anywhere that can be found without a police officer roaming the halls.
  • Metal detectors. While many school districts do not feel the need for such items or have the money for such expense there are those that are using them and they do seem to lesson violent events.
  • Teacher and administrator training. The school leaders are more trained than ever to watch out for depression in students, bullying, declining grades and more signs that trouble could be brewing in a student. If these things are identified and helped early on then there are a lot of things that can be done to keep a student from wanting to go to such great lengths as to harm someone.
The bottom line though is that we need to stop the violence at schools starting in our homes. The presence of violent television shows, movies, video games and other media are not okay for kids of any age. Kids slowly become desensitized to these images and ideas and then things escalate. Or they think that violence is the solution to any problem. In homes where physical violence is used parents should really consider doing some research about the lasting effects that these behaviors have on today’s children.

Bullying in Schools

There has always been at least one child who would tease or torment others in the class room or on the playground. Years ago bullying in schools meant someone was calling names, teasing, and on occassion someone would picking a fight. These fights were usually few and far between and were quickly put to a stop and punishment ensued. Today, school violence has taken on a whole new meaning. Statistics on teen violence indicate it is continuing to become a greater issue all the time. These statistic also show that about 6% of kids will cut classes or not attend school because they are insecure about being there. Kids no longer fear being called names because they have much harsher terms of bullying to worry about. Simple name calling has turned into out right verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and often physical abuse. Amongst some of the many reasons we are seeing more and more abuse within our schools is because the number of teen gangs continue to grow and our youth are attracted to the image they portray. Although they may not initially join to become violent as they get involved they are expected to carry out violence, which is often brought into the schools.
Yet another way of teen bullying has come to light with the use of electronic devices. Although most schools do not allow use of cellular phones it seems most kids have them anyway. Texting is an easy way for them to mock, degrade, or send terrible messages. Last week an LA jury convicted a mother of participating in bullying a 13 year old girl by posing as a boy on MySpace and once she gained her trust began to belittle her creating a verbal and emotional abuse situation. This 13 year old wound up commiting suicide. The statistics on teen suicide indicate our youth are suffering from terrible emotion issues we may not even be aware of. Some of the warning signs of someone who may be having suicidal thoughts are feeling of worthlessness, anger, withdrawal, weight loss/gain, and teen depression.
Teen violence statistics continue to increase, it is important that parents get involved with their children and well as their schools and educate themselves on what is going on with their kids as well as any potential dangers of their children while at school.