Characteristics Of Public Schools And Students In Relation To Violence Essay
Violence in the Public Schools
In the recent times, violence in the society in general has been on the rise. It, therefore, comes as little surprising the public schools are also experiencing the same. In fact, the violence in the public schools is more prevalent and on a faster rise than it seems. In this paper, we shall examine the violence in publics schools; the characteristics of the schools and the specific students. The prevalence of the domestic violence shall be examined to elucidate further on this situation. Finally, this paper will conclude by analyzing the current responses to the school violence and the possible solutions and measures that can be taken to rectify this situation.
Violence in the Public Schools
Violence is abhorred by the human and seen as inexcusable unless as a last resort when all the other possible options have been exhausted. It is, therefore, alarming to realize that violence in the public schools is on the rise and also increasing in prevalence. In the context of this essay, violence shall mean and refer any form of violence and even the threat of violence that might arise in the public school environment. However, for the purposes of organization, violence can be further divided into two categories; the “normal’ violence and the serious violence. Serious violence includes; physical attacks with or without weapons, the threat of a physical attack with or without the weapon and even the threats made with weapons.
The Department of Justice in conjunction with the Department of Education, released research findings indicating that 1,183,700 incidences of violent crimes occurred in the public schools during just one school year, 2009-2010. More than half of these crimes were not reported to the police. The report’s findings translate into the fact the 73 percent of the public schools witnessed a violent crime. Most of these violent crimes were simply physical fights and fights without weapons and fall under this papers category of “normal” violence. On the other hand, the serious violence occurrences such as rape, sexual battery, attempted rape, physical attacks with weapons or threats of physical attacks with weapons and surprising enough even robberies.
The trend is shocking, this is especially in consideration that a few decades ago the main disciplinary issues would have been issues such as chewing gum, running in the halls and even talking out of turn that today seem petty. The minor incidences or as termed in this paper as the “normal” violence is mainly the scuffles, disagreements and scuffles rather than calculated acts. The injuries that result from such incidences are the minor bruises, cuts and scratches, and black eyes. In short, the minor violence incidences are less injurious and more bothersome. It is the serious violence rates that are worrying and concerning with their increase.
A report made by Eric Larsen, an independent researcher clearly analyzed the aspects of the characteristics of the students and the public schools. The report sought to document the relationship between the school characteristics and the school violence. Therefore, the following aspects are considered in determining the relationship; the public school demographic characteristics, the general school disorder and the public schools administrative practices. The demographics mainly involve the school level, the urbanicity of the school, whether the school is located in the rural, town, urban-fringe or city areas. For the administrative practices, the following are examined; presence of law enforcement in the school, student-teacher ratio, and how often the students changes their classes. The school disorder consisted of the transfers, unexcused absences, school-wide disruption and the reports of serious disciplinary problems.
The results were that the secondary schools had more incidences of violence as compared to the middle and elementary schools. The serious violence also followed the same order. Demographically, the urban schools are more likely to have a higher rate of incidences as opposed to the rural areas and the urban fringes. In school management, the number of times the students changed classes reflected directly on the incidences of violence with more changes resulting in a greater number of incidences of violence. The schools with a high number of disciplinary problems obviously had a large number of violent incidences.
The Reasons Contributing to the Violence in Schools
The reasons provided in this section should not be regarded excusing factors for the violence or as immutable facts but rather an exploration of the possible reasons that could give rise to the violent behaviors and acts in the schools.
The Changing Patterns of Community and Family Life
Presently, the children tend to grow u in isolation from the parents, their extended family members and even other adults in general. The isolation emerges where the working places and locations are separated from the living areas. In addition, the factors that interfere with parenting such as poverty, drug abuse, and even divorce. Therefore, the societal dynamics and systems, which traditionally socialized and integrated the youth into norms of the society are for the mist part extinct.
The Redefining of Violence as Normal
Some communities and groups directly advocate violence as a normal way of resolving conflict. Such a situation created an inverted sense of right and wrong in the children and the adolescents. An example is the inner-city children who grow up surrounded by adults who are delinquent, criminal or deviant. The result of this is a group of youth who grow up learning; often painfully, that violence is the fastest and most efficient way of resolving disputes. The children and the youth then automatically transfer their misguided convictions and violent tendencies into the public schools and the violence then ensues there.
There are two points of view on this issue of the violent and delinquents students. The first stand is that school has a mission to save those students even if from themselves. Here the suggestion is made that the schools should restructure or even make curriculums that have special programs that provide means for the teachers and the students to deal with the students. The underlying theme of this statement is that the schools must not give up on the students regardless the cost.
The second view seems more callous with its position being that the schools ought to remove and exclude the disruptive and violent students from the classroom to allow the focused students to learn without disruptions. The approached is hailed in that it will separate these students and probably encourage the disruptive students to emulate the motivated students. The main aim of this is that a few students must not be allowed to disrupt the peaceful education of the rest. In short, the schools must be willing to sacrifice a few for the sake of the rest.
Methods of Reducing the Public Schools Violence
Prevention is far mush better than cure; therefore, the schools must strive to stop violence even before it emerges. The most effective method here seems to be training the students in conflict resolution methods. The training will not only reduce the number of physical conflicts but also encourage posited utilization of conflicts in areas such as debate and even arouse the intellectual curiosity of the students.
The schools must also involve the police and law enforcement when dealing with serious incidences of violence. The involvement of police will firstly ensure that the course of law is followed with the offenders being dealt with accordingly. In addition, the police presence and possible involvement serve as a powerful deterrent. When a school does not report a serious crime such as rape, they are not only allowing the perpetrator to go free, but also setting the ground for more incidences.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, November 23). School Violence: Data & Statistics. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/schoolviolence/data_stats.html
Constitutional Rights Foundations. (2014, October 28). Causes of School Violence. Retrieved from Constitutional Rights Foundations: http://www.crf-usa.org/school-violence/causes-of-school-violence.html
Jeffrey, T. P. (2012, April 23). 1,183,700 Violent Crimes Committed at Public Schools; Only 303,900 Reported to Police. Retrieved from CNS News: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/1183700-violent-crimes-committed-public-schools-only-303900-reported-police
Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2014). Reducing School Violence Through Conflict Resolution. St. Alexandria: ASCD.
Larsen, E. (2003). Violence in U.S. Public Schools: A Summary of Findings. ERIC Digest. New York: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education .