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Violence In Schools Essay, Research Paper

Violence in Schools:

A hazard to learn?

Katie Conrad

Writing about Literature

For many years there has been an increase in the cases of violence in schools. Violence, in itself, has been a problem plaguing schools and just recently has it taken deadly actions. But what causes these outbreaks of aggression and hatred to occur? Is it the community where the school is or peers that children come in contact with? Some factors that might contribute to violence in schools is the family influence, society?s shortcomings, the media and drugs. But can it really all be blamed on this?

Family Influence

Family structure is extremely important in raising a well-sound and adjusted child. If a child?s parents raise their child in a structured household it is thought to produce an upstanding young adult. Many ?perceive that the major factors contributing to student violence are lack of parental supervision at home and lack of family involvement? (Anonymous 1). So if all children are shown in their home is violence and hatred, how will they learn anything else? Children need strong role models and constant attention to develop normally and have good, strong values. If they are neglected and left to raise themselves, they might fall through the crack ,so to speak, and choose the wrong path. ?Parenting that indulges, neglect, abuses, or ignores children, and that fails to provide strong, positive guidance, discipline, and nurturance, contributes to the spread of violence in schools? (Anonymous 1). So if absolutely no guidance is shown toward the child, who will they learn from? Also if the parents are preoccupied with ?concentrating more on the economic survival of the family? (Anonymous 1) than also there will be less time to parent the child. If a child grows up in a low-income household, the parents may be very focused with maintaining a family income to keep the family going. This may cause the child or children to be ignored and having to raise themselves. Which will make them susceptible to many outside influences, whether they be good or bad. ?Neighborhoods characterized predominately by single-parent households tend to have fewer social resources and networks necessary for developing and maintaining local institutions, and for helping parents acquire the social capital necessary in deterring children from violence and delinquency? (Anonymous 3). But violence doesn?t just brew in the tenements of the poor. Many recent cases of school violence, that in the case of the Columbine incident, where the children involved were brought up in upper-middle class household where both parents were present. So how can these tragedies of ?good? kids gone wrong be explained. It might not be all on the parents shoulders.

Society?s Problem?

Could the blame on violence be put onto society? Is it that because of the lack of positive role models and quality activities that are not provided for children that this contributes to the demise of today?s school system? There are many role models for children today- but are they all positive? Many children idealize athletes, actors and actresses and musicians just to name a few. But are they all stabile enough to ?look up to?? It is said that a ?lack of positive role models or significant adults who care? (Anonymous 2) is a defining factor in school violence. Another contributing factor to violence is the easy access to weapons. Can one be optained without much resistance? A startling fact- ?The majority of children who have access to weapons and play violent video games do not engage in violent acts? (Anonymous 4). Was it easy to obtain weapons for the shooting in Littleton, CO? Klebold?s (one of the shooters in the crime)girlfriend, ?bought 3 guns possibly used in the killings? (Anonymous 5). Also a ?22-year-old man was arrested for selling a TEC DC9 assault pistol which was used in the shootings?and the boys and man also went shooting on several occasions? (Anonymous 5). Are all these people to blame for the crime since they provided the weapons? Or is the finger that pulled the trigger the only one to blame?

The Media

How much does the media affect our society? This questions had been pondered since the first beginnings of television and radio. If a child sees something does it mean that they will believe it and imitate it? Today there is an abundance of violent images in books, magazines, video games, music and television shows. But how does a society stop this? Action films are one of the top grossing film categories- will they stop being made so that schools can once again be safe? Many rap artists in the music industry who children idealize relay negative images of a sugar-coated glamorous lifestyle. They show how you can become rich, powerful and successful with the right people, weapons and illegal activities. In their songs violence is glorified and put up onto a pedestal- do we want our children to want this as well?

Drugging our Future?

Drugs are widely used among today?s youth. Drugs can constitute anything from illegal narcotics such as marijuana and cocaine to alcohol to even nicotine. But does this influence children to commit violent acts in schools? ?Students cited involvement with drugs and alcohol as the third major factor contributing to school violence? (Anonymous 1). Much of the drug use of illegal drugs such as ?the use of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and crack is down among students in grades 6-12, the consumption of alcohol is not. Alcohol is the number one drug used by teenagers and young adults? (Anonymous 1). Are these drugs used to suppress emotional distress or depression which heightens irritability and in the end results in violence? ?Boys in particular may feel a sociocultural pressure to act tough and not express their feelings in a calm way? (Anonymous 4). So with these tendencies that boys have mixed with drugs, this might cause violent rages thus resulting in violent acts. But is there anyway to predict this before hand and save our schools?

Foreseeing the Danger

Can one be a predictor of violence before it occurs? There may be tell tale signs to look for in a child that can predict if they have violent tendencies. Some of the following are:

 difficulty getting along with others

 difficulty with school work

 difficulty eating or sleeping

 temper tantrums

 a tendency to seek isolation

 violent behavior toward pets or small animals

 an unusual preoccupation with violent video games, movies or TV shows

(Anonymous 4).

There are also certain characteristics of serious juvenile offenders. Some of the following sings are:

 Delinquency case before age 13

 Low family income

 child deemed troublesome by teachers and peers at age 8-10

 Poor school performance by age 10

 Psychomotor clumsiness

 Low non-verbal I.Q.

 Sibling convicted of crime

 Head injury and/or physical/sexual abuse

(Anonymous 6).

With all of these factors, one can see that there are many signs to foretell violence, teachers, parents and peers just need to open their eyes to these dangerous signs and act on instinct. If one notices these signs, talk to the child or parent. Innocence does not need to be lost when these signs are presented before hand and violence can be prevented. Many do not take these signs seriously. ?Every day, schools all over the country are being forced to interrupt their teaching to deal with malicious bomb threats, made by deranged and unstable people who think it is ?fun? to cause pain, grief, fear and disruption? (Anonymous 8). Hopefully we can take these past experiences into account and learn from them. Together with the above information and the initiative to help our schools we can make them safer for the purpose they were created for- to learn.

Works Cited

Anonymous 1. Factors contributing to schools violence. 10 Apr. 2000


Anonymous 2. Preventing & Coping with School Violence. 12 Mar. 2000


Anonymous 3. CSPV Fact Sheet. 10 Apr. 2000


Anonymous 4. Understanding School Violence. 12 Mar. 2000 *http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/school_violence.html*.

Anonymous 5. Monsters Among Us: The Tragedy at Columbine High.

10 Apr. 2000 *wysiwyg://110/http://www.angelfire.com/tx2/coroner/columbia.html*.

Anonymous 6. Violence and the Public Schools. 12 Mar. 000 *http://www.people.virginia.edu~/rkb3b/Hal/SchoolViolence.html*

Anonymous 1. Factors contributing to schools violence. 10 Apr. 2000


Anonymous 2. Preventing & Coping with School Violence. 12 Mar. 2000


Anonymous 3. CSPV Fact Sheet. 10 Apr. 2000

Anonymous 4. Understanding School Violence. 12 Mar. 2000 .

Anonymous 5. Monsters Among Us: The Tragedy at Columbine High.

10 Apr. 2000 .

Anonymous 6. Violence and the Public Schools. 12 Mar. 000

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