School Violence


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There are many factors for the occurrence of school violence. The two most common factors are substance abuse, association with gangs, and guns. School laws try to prevent these factors from endangering the youths in the schools. Many school officials and citizens are convinced that the growing problems of student disruption and general lack of respect for authorities are attributable directly to an over emphasis on students’ rights. The increase in violence, drugs, and weapons in schools has directed our attention to the need to talk all reasonable steps to ensure a safe learning environment for students and teachers. Some citizens and teacher blame this on public schooling. There are many organizations that try to help end school violence such as SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere). Other countries such as Germany and Canada have witnessed school violence in their community. I believe that this is not only a United States problem, but also a global problem that quickly needs to be resolved.          
Guns are flooding our school system and the statistics are staggering. More American youths have been killed by guns in the last thirteen year than were killed during the entire Vietnam War. “Every year since 1950, the number of American children killed by guns doubled every two days, the equivalent of an entire classroom of kids (twenty-five) are killed by guns. Every three hours, someone between the ages of ten and nineteen is killed with a gun.”(Day, 1996, pg. 33)

     Gangs have also played a large role in school violence. A gang is a group of people, usually of the same ethnic group and from the same neighborhood. Even though many people think of black teenagers when they think of gangs, there are white, Asian, Hispanic, and even Samoan gangs. “For some young people, gangs provide the only emotional and physical security they have ever known such as providing respect, power, family and security.”(Day, 1996, pg. 40). Unfortunately, gang membership can also be dangerous. Gangs continue to be a major problem in schools. Experts say there is no simple solution, but by working together, parents, community leaders, police officers, school officials, and teachers make a difference.

     Substance abuse is another reason there is violence in the schools. “In a survey of students in grades nine through twelve, nearly one-fourth of the students had been offered, sold, or given an illegal drug on school property”(Day, 1996, pg.

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27). Crime raters are higher at school alcohol and illegal drugs are easily obtained.
     “School violence is usually blamed on public schooling”(Lawrence, 1998, pg. 138). Educational experts, on the other hand, have emphasized the many problems in the home, the community, and among peers that affect school success for failure which is beyond the schools control or influence. “There are some teaching strategies that are effective in helping at-risk students perform academically and avoid involvement in delinquent behavior”(Lawrence, 1998, pg. 139).

     “These violent acts are problems that occur not only in the United States, but around the world.” (Associated Press, 2000, Pg. 11). In the Netherlands (which has strict gun control laws), a young boy was convicted of killing four students and a teacher. Another incident occurred in Canada, a young boy is being put on trail for the murder of two students. “More than three million crimes are committed in schools each year.” (Day, 1996, pg. 32). Murder, rape, and robbery are all forms of violent crime on the rise in our schools..

     I believe that school violence is a global problem. Its time to get guns, violence, and drugs out of our school system. The rate of violence in schools have dramatically increased. Some ways to end school violence are: support broad and comprehensive anti-violence public policy, assess and address the level of violence in your personal relationships, stand up against bigoted behavior or comments, welcome helpful community programs, do not carry a gun, do not purchase violent games or toys, inform others about SAVE, be a positive role model to others, and raise awareness of the violence issue among peers.






References
Associated Press, “School Violence” World News. 2000: pg. 12

Day, Nancy. Violence in Schools. Springfield New Jersey. Enslow Publishers, Inc., 1996

Lawrence, Richard. School Crime and Juvenile Justice. New York, New York. Oxford University Press, 1998.

Van Scotter. Contemporary World Issues: Public Schooling in America. Denver, Colorado. ABC-CLIO, 1991.




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