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Violence In Schools

In this blog article, Dr. Joann discusses violence in schools and how it might be prevented.

When we think of the violence in schools that has been perpetrated in recent times, we all but wonder what is going on in our society.

Is this wave of violence isolated incidents or can it be attributed to other factors?

We live in a culture of violence. Children are exposed to death and destruction on a daily basis as an integral part of the society in which we live. Our schools are microcosms of our culture and can contribute to a positive or negative environment.

Characteristics of schools that contribute to a positive environment are “collaborative leadership, teacher collaboration, professional development, and learning partnerships” (Finley, 2004, p. 68). When school violence occurs, a more authoritarian atmosphere arises with punishments and more stringent restraints and rules imposed. These become part and parcel of everyday life in schools and become accepted as the best way to deal with the problems.

Simple solutions are given for very intricate problems. Supportive interventions by teachers, achievement of students, and positive school and classroom environments are elements that help prevent school violence (2004). There are always the exceptions to the rules, but overall, creating an atmosphere of positive feelings and help when needed seem more reasonable and at least provide a plan that would limit violence in school. A partnership model where teachers and students have input seems more likely to be a violence deterrent than the dominator model where few make rules and do not listen to the ideas and issues of both the teachers and students (2004).

Some of the characteristics and behaviors seen in those students who commit violent acts are as follows: aggressive and impulsive behaviors, isolation from school activities and peers, academic failure and or struggles, deficit parenting, domestic violence, and child abuse (Perry, 2001). These signs do not ascertain violent behavior but may be indicators with the proper set of circumstances. Inclusion of isolated students needs to be encouraged, as well as education about coping with issues of disrespect and especially bullying need to be included in the curriculum.

To learn more about These important mental health topics, please visit Dr. Joann's blog

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Frank December 17, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Can you show that this terrible tragedy is indicative of a rising trend? One incident isn't a trend. I suspect when somebody actually looks (probably not for years given the heat of this), they might find the frequency of these things fairly constant (the conclusion found in the 90s when we thought we had a rash of church burning. It wasn't). Rather, the possibility of a violent tragedy should be considered more like a black swan - a rare, always unexpected, but potentially devastating outcome. Which conceptually puts this in the category of a terrible accident or hurricane, etc... an extremely rare but devastating event. And traditionally the best way to deal with these kinds of occurrences (infrequent yet devastating) is not with more education but rather with "insurance." Which to my mind means that every school needs to have one armed to the hilt, highly skilled sharp shooter/soldier/police officer on stand by...just in case, so if we have that extremely rare day, damage might be minimized at the point of event. Trying to "eliminate" this from happening again by other means is woefully unrealistic. Even new gun control measures, which should be considered, ultimately would be are a false palliative. There have been nuts from the beginning of time. And a nut will or criminal or both will still, rarely, but nonetheless occasionally be able to find a way, regardless of those measures.

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