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Teenage Violence in Schools

Page #1

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).

Page #2

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

Page #3

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).

Page #4

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.

Page #5

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

Page #6

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).

Violence and Pornography

Pornography — Sex or Subordination?

In the late Seventies, America became shocked and outraged

by the rape, mutilation, and murder of over a dozen young,

beautiful girls. The man who committed these murders, Ted

Bundy, was later apprehended and executed. During his

detention in various penitentiaries, he was mentally

probed and prodded by psychologist and psychoanalysts

hoping to discover the root of his violent actions and

sexual frustrations. Many theories arose in attempts to

explain the motivational factors behind his murderous

escapades. However, the strongest and most feasible of

these theories came not from the psychologists, but from

the man himself, as a teenager, my buddies and I would

all sneak around and watch porn. As I grew older, I

became more and more interested and involved in it,

[pornography] became an obsession. I got so involved in

it, I wanted to incorporate [porn] into my life, but I

couldn t behave like that and maintain the success I had

worked so hard for. I generated an alter-ego to fulfill

my fantasies under-cover. Pornography was a means of

unlocking the evil I had burried inside myself (Leidholdt

47). Is it possible that pornography is acting as the key

to unlocking the evil in more unstable minds?

According to Edward Donnerstein, a leading researcher

in the pornography field, the relationship between

sexually violent images in the media and subsequent

aggression and . . . callous attitudes towards women is

much stonger statistically than the relationship between

smoking and cancer (Itzin 22). After considering the

increase in rape and molestation, sexual harassment, and

other sex crimes over the last few decades, and also the

corresponding increase of business in the pornography

industry, the link between violence and pornogrpahy needs

considerable study and examination. Once the evidence you

will encounter in this paper is evaluated and quantified,

it will be hard not come away with the realization that

habitual use of pornographic material promotes unrealistic

and unattainable desires in men that can leac to violent

behavior toward women.

In order to properly discuss pornography, and be able

to link it to violence, we must first come to a basic and

agreeable understanding of what the word pornography

means. The term pornogrpahy originates from two greek

words, porne, which means harlot, and graphein, which

means to write (Webster s 286). My belief is that the

combination of the two words was originally meant to

describe, in literature, the sexual escapades of women

deemed to be whores. As time has passed, this definition

of pornography has grown to include any and all obscene

literature and pictures. At the present date, the term is

basically a blanket which covers all types of material

such as explicit literature, photography, films, and video

tapes with varying degrees of sexual content.

For Catherine Itzin s research purposes pornogrpahy

has been divided into three categories: The sexually

explicit and violent; the sexually explicit and

nonviolent, but subordinating and dehumanizing; and the

sexually explicit, nonviolent, and nonsubordinating that

is based upon mutuality. The sexually explicit and

violent is graphic, showing penetration and ejaculation.

Also, it shows the violent act toward a woman. The

second example shows the graphic sexual act and climax,

but not a violent act. This example shows the woman

being dressed is a costume or being talked down to in

order to reduce her to something not human; such as a

body part or just something to have sex with, a body

opening or an orifice. Not only does erotica show the

entire graphic sexual act, it also depicts an attraction

between two people. Her research consistently shows

that harmful effects are associated with the first two,

but that the third erotica , is harmless (22). These

three categories basically exist as tools of discerning

content. Although sometimes they overlap without a true

distinction, as in when the film is graphic in the

sexual act and also in violence, but shows the act as

being a mutual activity between the people


In my view, to further divide pornography, it is

possible to break it down into even simpler categories:

soft and hard core pornography. Hard core pornography is

a combination of the sexually explicit and violent and the

sexually explicit and nonviolent, but subordinating and

dehumanizing categories, previously discussed. Soft core

pornography is thought to be harmless and falls into the

category known as erotica ; which is the category based

on mutuality. In hard core pornogrpahy, commonly rated

XXX, you can see graphic depiction s of violent sexual

acts usually with a man or group of men, deriving sexual

gratification from the degradation of a woman.

You can also see women participating in demoralizing

sexual behavior among themselves for the gratification of

men. In a triple-X movie all physical aspects are shown,

such as extreme close-ups of genitalia, oral, vaginal, and

anal penetration, and also ejaculation. Much of the time

emphasis is put on the painful and humiliating experience

of the woman, for the sole satisfaction of the male. Soft

core pornography, or X-rated pornography, is less explicit

in terms of what is shown and the sexual act is usually

put in the light of mutual enjoyment for both the male and

female parties(Cameron and Frazer 23). Triple-X

pornography is manufactured and sold legally in the United

States. Deborah Cameron and Elizabeth Frazer point out

that other forms of hard core pornography that have to be

kept under wraps, made and sold illegally in underground

black markets. These are ultraviolent, snuff , and

child pornography. Ultraviolent tapes or videos show the

actual torture, rape, and sometime mutilation of a woman.

Snuff films go even future to depict the actual death of

a victim, and child pornography reveals the use of

under-age or pre-pubescent children for sexual purposes

(17-18). These types of pornogrpahy cross over the

boundaries of entertainment and are definitely hard core.

Now that pornography has been defined in a fashion

mirroring its content, it is now possible to touch upon

the more complex ways a community, as a society , views or

defines it. Some have said it is impossible for a group

of individuals to form a concrete opinion as to what

pornography means. A U.S. Supreme Court judge is quoted

as saying, I can t define pornography, but I know it when

I see it (Itzin 20). This statement can be heard at

community meetings in every state, city, and county across

the nation. Community standards are hazy due to the fact

that when asked what pornography is to them, most

individuals cannot express or explain in words what

pornography is, therefore creating confusion among


Communities are left somewhat helpless in this matter

since the federal courts passed legislation to keep

pornography available to adults. The courts assess that

to ban or censor the material would be infringing on the

public s First Amendment Right (Carol 28). Maureen

O Brien quotes critics of a congressionally terminated

bill, the Pornography Victim s Compensation Act, as saying

That if it had passed, it would have had severely

chilling effects on the First Amendment, allowing victims

of sexual crimes to file suit against producers and

distributors of any work that was proven to have had

caused the attack, such as graphic material in books,

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