Warning Signs That Your Child Is Experiencing Violence at School
The news headlines are continuing to tell the story that no parent wants to hear; another child has been shot or stabbed in some type of school violence. No one wants to live in fear and the day after these events happen parents are torn but send their children back to school because they need an education. There are questions that remain unanswered about why violence is continuing to escalate in schools and in the meantime, children are taking matters into their own hands and acting out violence against their peers for reasons that are often senseless, to say the least.
Is it possible that your child is experiencing violence at school? Do you know how to spot the warning signs that your child is being treated violently? More importantly, what can you do when you spot these warning signs? The answers to these questions may not be as simple as it seems. But an easy place to start is with your child. Children go through many different emotional changes as they go from youth to adolescent to young adult. Some of these emotional occurrences are normal and others are not and it’s up to you to know your child to know the difference.
A quiet boy or girl who suddenly becomes withdrawn and has a rash of unexplainable accidents that result in bruises or other injuries may be experiencing violence at school. The company your young person keeps may be a good indicator as well. Friends who are smoking and drinking are far more inclined to get into violent situations at school than those who are not. There is a degree of privacy that your youth is entitled to but only as a condition of meeting expectations such as keeping chores and homework done.
Changes in responsibility and respectability are often indications that something is going on at school that needs to be addressed. Inattention to hygiene and appearance can also be a signal to have a talk with your son or daughter to find out what’s going on. Many times, violence is happening but the child experiencing it is afraid to speak out. Any drastic change in behavior, weight loss, loss of appetite or decreased interest in family and friends may be a sign that your child is suffering violence in school.
Try to keep an open line of communication with him or her without making them feel that you are prying into their life. Provide them with options and let them know that your support is there for them when they need it. Don’t hesitate to speak with school administration if you suspect and your child is not willing to discuss it with you.