Stopping School Violence in Your Community
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Stopping School Violence In Your Community
2 years, 7 months and 3 days ago, our lives were changed forever. This marks the date of April 20, 1999. When the students arrived that day at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado they had no idea that 12 students and 1 teacher wouldnt be leaving by the end of the day. What could ever drive two high school students to the point where the only answer was death and suicide? Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold took the only answer to their graves.
And it gets worse. Since Columbine, Georgia, Virginia, Oregon, Michigan and Tennessee have had violence plaguing there schools with children as young as 9 years old committing the acts. School should be the last place that a parent should fear for their childs life. Juvenile homicide is now twice as
common as it was in the 1980s and that statistic is rising. To stop a problem like this you must know where it starts.
To do this, you need to know what drove these kids to
commit such an act. It seems that most politicians blame television and video games for the violence in the school system. “People keep saying video games and movies caused the violence. Its absolutely the reverse. Part of the attraction young people have to violent video games is simply a reaction to their imprisoning school system and the harsher and wilder the video games or the speed metal music, the more inspired the young people feel, because theres nothing else in the cultural environment to inspire them” (Sischy 1999: 2).
Jason Dorsey, a motivational speaker and author of the book “Can Students End School Violence?” believes its the fear
of being excluded. “The fear is not that they will get shot or stabbed. Its that they will have to sit in the cafeteria all alone during lunch. Or that they will raise their hand to ask a question and be made fun of” (Creegan 2000: 1).
Fear and low self-esteem seem to go hand and hand now a day in our school system. The two together can lead to a dangerous combination that has the power to not only change lives, but end them as well. “Once a students self-esteem is affected and they no longer care about their future, then the physical violence starts” (Creegan 2000: 2).
It makes sense then to start at an early age before self-esteem and discrimination has a chance to enter a childs life. Myrna Shure, PhD, a psychology professor at MCP Hahnemann University believes that “If they can grow up as thinking and feeling human beings who care about themselves and others,” she said, “they will be more empathic, successful at making friends and will be able to make responsible decisions in light of their potential consequences” (Volz 1999: 1).
How do you make sure that children grow up thinking like that without taking away their right to be individuals? The biggest problem is that there is no easy solution. The panel on school violence “discussed a variety of solutions – after school programs, mental health counseling and student problem
solving. But what they all quickly realized was the sobering truth that there are no easy solutions” (Thomas 1999: 1).
To heal the nation of a wound like this it is going to take time and cooperation between parents, students, the school systems and the community. Parents need to be there for their children. “You can make a difference in our society, just by being present in the life of a child, whether its your child, or someone elses. Just by being a friend, a mentor, a sounding board – just by carrying enough to show up” (Case 1998: 1).