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.
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.
- 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.
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.