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Essay on Causes of School Violence

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To explore how to maintain safe school environments, we must first define the causes of school violence. When Eric David Harris and Dylan Bennett Klebold opened fire inside Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, injuring 24, and killing 13 (including themselves), they were simply displaying the unfortunate 'symptom' of their 'disease'- a deeply-rooted lack of emotional literacy. As Sandra Bloom notes, 'A few incidents of violence are directly related to limited skills in reading, writing, and computation, but rather, limited emotional literacy' (Bloom, 2004, p.172). While installing metal detectors, hiring full-time security officers, and developing perimeter lighting may help minimize the 'symptoms' of the epidemic problem, to completely 'root out' school violence, our attention, as a responsibly society, needs to be focused on teaching youngsters positive ways to interact with one another that will encourage nonviolent, healthy remedies for solving conflicts when they inevitably arise. As noted in Daniel Goleman's 1996 bestseller, "Emotional Intelligence," the ability to recognize, understand and handle emotions was at least as important a determinant of a person's life-chances as the logico-deductive thought processes commonly measured in schools' (The Economist, 2001, p.1). Just as Math, Science, English, and Social Studies are ?staple subjects? of public high schools throughout the nation, so should be classes that focus on teaching positive peer-to-peer socialization skills, morality, conflict resolution, and the like. In Southampton, programs that taught emotional literacy were implemented in 90 schools over a time span of 18 months (The Economist, 2001, p.1), and ?education chiefs in the city were delighted by the ...


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... February 20, 2005, from Academic Search/ EBSCO Host Database.

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(1999). Juvenile Peer Mediation Expands Beyond Schools. Retrieved April 15, 2005, from http://www.mediate.com/articles/anspeer.cfm.

Koffel, W. (1998 May/June). Safe schools. Retrieved February 11, 2005, from http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3737/is_199805/ai_n8787792.

Hemenway, D. (2005, April 18). Treat Gun Violence as health problem. Retrieved April 20, 2005, from http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.guns18apr18,1,1811105.story?ctrack=3&cset=true.


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