School Violence


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     One out of every twelve students would stay home rather than attend school for fear someone would hurt them or hassle them (Kreiner). What can we do to be safe in school? It is becoming more apparent violence is a problem in most schools. But once we are aware that it exists, we can figure out ways to make it less of a problem. The most important step is to learn how to protect ourselves from, a violent situation. However, you can also help to achieve a larger goal: preventing violence before it happens (Kreiner).
     How can you protect yourself? The first thing is to listen to your instincts. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in the surrounding area, pay attention to everything around you! If you need to leave for any reason, pass through the most crowded area. Avoid letting anyone walk uncomfortably close behind you. If someone is close behind, try to create distance between the person and yourself. Anonymously report any student that you see with a gun, knife, or any other weapon; but make sure that the person you report doesn’t know. If someone threatens you with a weapon, it is usually best if you don’t fight back. Do what the person orders, and then report the incident to the authorities (Kreiner).
     There are other ways we can stop the violence before it starts. One way is to start changing how we look at guns and violence. Don’t act impressed if a friend brings a weapon to school. In addition don’t encourage a friend to use his/her fists when they get angry. Help your friends when they get upset, and tell them you will listen to their problems. We can also avoid the violence by staying out of violent places (Kreiner). These are all ways we can stop the violence before it starts.
     Also, government and school officials are stepping in to do what they can to stop the violence. The government is doing their part by reducing the availability of weapons. Also, they’re mandating a one-year expulsion for students who bring weapons to school. Schools are forming an institutional code of conduct that demonstrates a commitment to violence prevention and helps staff and students feel safe. The schools are now enforcing the “zero tolerance” rule that was mandated by the Federal Government. This includes also enforcing zero tolerance for guns and other types of offences, assaults on teacher and enforcing students to wear uniforms.

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The “zero tolerance” is the school foundation for stopping violence. With this policy, schools can set rules that can be enforced with harsh punishment if these rules are broken. Also, it makes it clear that “if it is illegal outside school, it’s illegal inside school.” For an example, stealing is illegal outside of school, so it is also illegal inside of school. Establish a written policy that is to be signed by all students, parents, teachers, and principals acknowledging that everybody understands the rules. Also, make it clear that the student will be brought to jail if the violence he/she committed is a crime (Schwartz). Another way schools are getting involved to stop the violence is by trying to restructure their systems. In the restructuring of the schools, they’re focusing on increasing students engagement, attendance, and performance. Schools have also reformed their systems, by downsizing their school and classroom sizes. Schools that have downsized documented that they have fewer disruptions and incidents of violence (ERIC).
As schools are coming up with these prevention strategies to stop the school violence, they’re adding more security. School security is becoming one of the most common prevention programs. The monitoring of students is one of the most obvious types of security. In most cases, the school staff members serve as the monitors, but schools are increasingly hiring security guards to patrol the building and to provide security at school events. The schools in the most viciously violent prone areas are teaming up with the police to visit periodically and patrol the halls. However, some educators believe that a police presence has a negative impact on teaching and learning and that the need for them is an indication of administrative failure. Others welcome police support but provide special training for dealing with students in a school environment (Schwartz). The other most common prevention is to keep students from bringing a weapon to school. The school officials are doing this by the use of metal detectors. Also school officials do random searches of the students’ body, possessions, and lockers (ERIC).
Concern about increasing school violence is being channeled into a variety of innovative, and potentially effective, programs around the country. Although components vary depending on the particular needs of the school, by sticking to the most effective programs, schools will see a decline in violence. Also, with all of these advancements in security, people still need to rely on each other to keep safe. If people stick together, they can single-handedly prevent violence from occurring. Schools are taking the initiative by putting in effect new rules and procedures; because of this, students should now feel safe and not have to worry about the violence that would otherwise be in their school.




Work Cited

Kreiner Anna. Everything You Need to Know About: School Violence. New York:
Rosen, 1998.
Schwartz Wendy. An overview of strategies to reduce school violence. Eric
Clearinghouse on Urban Education. Retrieved November 14, 2001.
Http://ericweb.tc.columbia.edu/digests/dig115.html
Violence and Discipline Problems in U.S. Public School: 1996-1997. (March 1998).
     National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 14, 2001.
Http://nces.ed.gov/pubs98/violence
Walker Dean. School Violence Prevention. (March 1995). ERIC. Retrieved November
14, 2001. Http:reic.uoregon.edu/publications/digests/digests094.html     



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