A Ticking Time Bomb- The Signs That a Child May Get Violent

Ever since the first televised incident of school violence questions have been raised in regard to warning signs that may have been present leading up to the incident. Every last detail of the accused’s final days are looked at over and over in order to come up with things that may have been missed by parents, classmates, teachers and authorities. And as it stands now, there usually are warning signs that if noticed, may have been able to prevent things from escalating to tragedy.

There are warning signs that can help you determine whether a child or teen is likely to become violent or cause harm to others. Not every one of the signs means that a child is a ticking time bomb who is on the verge of losing it, but when you note a few of these warning signs together, then you owe it to that child as well as those around him/her to try to get them the help they need.

There are several things that you can look for that are considered school violence warning signs. In many cases you may note certain unusual behavior but never dream in a million years that it’s anything more than your typical teen angst. By seeing a list in black and white you will be able to pick out the signs that someone you know may be exhibiting.

Knowing the Signs

Again, not all children who exhibit these signs are on the verge of committing a violent crime. You can use the warning signs along with your judgment to decide how to proceed. If you’re in doubt, then consulting the child’s teacher or a professional may be the next best step. Now, here are the five most warning signs of school violence.

  1. Withdrawn and anti-social behavior
  2. Depression
  3. A fixation on violence and/or death
  4. Harming of animals and other aggressive or violent behavior
  5. Suicidal tendencies

If you notice a child exhibiting any of these signs and are worried that they may be headed towards harming themselves or someone else then you need to intervene and do what you can to stop them. If you are going to confront the child about your suspicions you need to consider your safety first. In some cases leaving it to a professional is best if you are feeling apprehensive and fear for your safety. If you are going to confront them yourself, be sure that you do so in a calm and understanding way and not one that makes the child feel threatened. If you’re not sure as to how to proceed, then you may want to get yourself a copy of ‘Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools’, which is available through the US Department of Education and was created to help with just this sort of situation as well as dealing with other aspects of school violence.