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Teenage violence in schools has become a tremendous concern to many people. School violence over the past number of years has been increasing and family life, the things that occur in schools and the neighborhoods that the teenagers (that commit the crimes or violent acts) live in are some of the major factors. These are not necessarily the only causes to teenage violence.
Family Lifestyle and the behavior of members within the family have been shown to have a direct affect on a teenager?s behavior in school. A child can be influenced very easily by any older person, especially a family member, because he always looks up to that family member. If a person in the family is involved in a criminal activity then the children can be turned on by this and become interested in doing the same thing. If the guardian or parent of a teenager does not punish him for doing something wrong, this can only lead to repetition of the bad behavior. Failure to stop a child from doing something wrong could lead the child to believe that his behavior is acceptable. Also, a child thinks that the people that are supposed to love him don?t even care that he is doing something bad so he will continue to do it. Teenagers also commit acts of violence to get their parents? attention. If parents ignore what their teenagers are doing, then the teenagers will continue to do more negative things just to get their parents to notice them. Another reason why family lifestyle is a cause to teen violence is, if the teenager is abandoned at a young age than there is no one to teach him wrong and right (Kim 82).
There are many different situations that can occur in school that can cause teenagers to do violent things. When a student has an argument with other students or a teacher that student may only know how to deal his anger by striking out. Often, teenagers do not know how to talk things out and instead, react violently. If a teenager doesn?t like what someone (a faculty member or another student) has said to him, he might also let out his anger in violent ways. Sometimes, even if the other person has not done anything wrong to him, but rather to another person he can still get angry (school violence).
The neighborhood that a teenager lives in can also cause him to be violent. If a teen lives in a bad neighborhood, where violent acts are going on all the time (besides for when he is in his house) and he will most probably be influenced by it (Kim 81). As a teenager sees more and more negative behavior happening daily in his surroundings, these behaviors will become acceptable and result in the teenager committing these same negative behaviors. Some of these negative behaviors include theft (lunch money, jewelry), vandalism, demands, threats, bullying, murder and rape (Kim 79). The following situations are examples of common behavior by teenagers; two boys did an act of vandalism in their school in New Jersey. The two boys vandalized their busses. The damage amount was $60,000, and the school had to close down for two days because there was no transportation. Another act of vandalism happened in Oregon
when a boy was upset about his semester grades. He brought explosives into the school office and destroyed his records and the records of all the other students. It cost $43,000 in repair for all the damages (Landau 81).
Some teenagers don?t get caught at what their doing out of their own intimidation behavior towards other teens. After they bully some kid or even hurt him, the victim may feel so intimidated and he will be scared to tell on him (Landau 80). The teenagers that do get caught sometimes end up doing whatever it is they were caught doing or doing something even worse. This happens because either, they get very little discipline or they are just so angry that they were caught they do the same thing again (or something even worse) out of anger (Landau 79).
The results of violence in schools can vary from requiring every student to have a picture ID, to installing an alarm system in every class. Some schools have locker checks without advising the students, undercover police come in, or even metal detectors installed at every entrance in the whole building. Proof that the metal detector works was demonstrated in California where 15 students were expelled for having guns in school. Before the installation of the metal detectors they hardly ever caught anyone with guns. Generally, schools need to bring in more security than ever needed before. Twice in Long Beach, California teens from outside the school threw bottles and rocks at the schoolyard. Twice, students were fired on and a bullet hurt a boy playing basketball. As a result of these incidents the school built a 10-foot wall to protect students (Landau 80).
Teenagers who are, once were or never were victims are constantly fear. The kids who are victims don?t want to ever go school again because they are so scared. Every day they hope that they will get through the day without anything bad happening to them (Landau 79). Bob is a very good example of a boy who has once been a victim. Bob?s school was in a neighborhood where no one suspected any abuse was happening. Although no one suspected it, it did happen. Three boys always cornered him and took turns hitting him. He got headaches and dizziness from this happening to him. As a result, he switched schools. Bob felt as if he was going into a ?boxing ring? everyday. He had terrible nightmares, his grades dropped and he was always preparing for someone to hurt him. Bob?s mom told the school what was being done to Bob and they didn?t do anything. She sued the three boys, their parents and the school administration (Landau 77). A sixteen-year-old once said, ? You get used to it, and learn not to leave anything around. I never wear my good watch on gym days? (Landau 80). In Los Angeles, California undercover police had to enter the school system, in order for school to go on. 300 police have been in schools, 150 work undercover and the rest work in uniforms and drive police cars. All of them are armed and are ordered to bring any suspects to the local precinct (Landau 81). Teens who have never been victims are also very scared.
They are scared that one day become victims. Their ability to learn is also affected greatly.
Schools have changed dramatically from the 1940s to the 1990?s. In the 1940s teenagers were in trouble for chewing gum, getting out of line, making
noise and not throwing out garbage. In the 1900s teenagers get in trouble for drugs, abuse, rape, robbery and bombings (Landau 79).
The Parent Teacher Association said, ?Over $600 million of vandalism is done in schools across America. This is more money than is spent on textbooks. Only the students loose from their own vandalism ? the tax dollars that they use on repairs could have towards their school, such as computers (Landau 81).?
Reducing or stopping teenage violence can be very difficult. But there are many ways to do it. One way is to stop the violence before by having in-school programs to teach students what is wrong and what is right (to the ones that really don?t know). The schools can have classes to teach the parents good parenting skills, such as getting more involved with their child?s schoolwork, programs and activities. Another idea is to have after school programs, just so the teenagers will not be out on the streets where they may be influenced to commit crimes or engage in violent activities. Rehabilitation programs are also a very good idea. Helping students become better kids (not doing violent things) does not only have to be done in school it can also be done outside of school, in synagogues, churches or programs in the local park. Family life, the things that occur in school and the neighborhoods that the teenagers live in are some of the
major causes of teen violence in school. If the families, the schools (faculty) and the neighborhoods help these violent teenagers then in the future there won?t be this problem anymore (or it will at least be reduced).
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