How to Help Your Child Understand School Violence on TV

Television has become some a mass medium for communicating information of all kinds from virtually anywhere in the world. One topic that has been appearing on television in the news, on talk shows, in documentaries and in other arenas is the subject of school violence. It seems as if every time you turn around, there’s a story being broadcasted about some form of school violence and it’s not just in high schools. Elementary schools are experiencing incidents where children are bringing loaded guns and other weapons to school in their backpacks right along with their books.  

There are even incidents where other types of violence such as poisons are being brought into the classroom and creating violent aftermath against students and teachers. With so much focus on school violence on television, it is important to help your child understand how to stay safe at school and how to deal with violence if it comes to impact them directly. This task is often not as easy as it sounds because often times school violence is unprovoked and senseless. As adults, we sometimes struggle to come to grips with the reality that one child has killed another in school for whatever reason.  

Explaining this to your child may seem like a very difficult task indeed because children often have a different and innocent perspective of their peers and the world around them, including their school. They often perceive their teachers to be protectors like their parents and may be under the false impression that a teacher can keep them safe from school violence. While it is the responsibility of all school staff to try to keep all children in the school as safe as possible, the truth is that no teacher can stop a bullet.  

As a parent, you take the time to teach your child how to walk, talk, dress themselves and do their homework. You can also take the time to help your child understand school violence by starting with a foundation of right and wrong. If you allow your children to watch television programs about violence, be willing to answer any questions that have with facts and compassion. Make sure your child understands the role that television plays in providing information to the public but that they are not obligated to watch it.  

If your child becomes overly concerned and troubled about school violence on television, take preventative steps to censor their viewing and limit exposure to school violence that shows scenes of wounded children. It may help to expose your child to success stories of children who have recovered and are making a difference in the lives of others. You can also turn to the resources at your child’s school to help provide your son or daughter with peace of mind about the measures that are in place at their school to minimize violence in their school.