Winning the War against School Violence
Some feel that school violence is not their problem because they are in denial that it occurs in their school district, school, or affects their own child in any way. The truth is that it affects everyone. It is the job of the not only the teachers but of the parents and community in order for schools to be made safer.
What are schools doing About It?
Well, approximately 84% of schools have what is considered “low security” in order to curb school violence. What this basically means is that there aren’t any metal detectors or security guards in place. There may be cameras at the entryways and various locations throughout the school. Another 11% of schools have moderate security in place, which means there are no metal detectors, but they do have one or more security guards patrolling the school on a full-time or part-time basis. Cameras are also employed in these schools. However, only 2% of schools are using full-on security which includes metal detectors, a full-time security guard, and they control who comes onto campus. This means that there are 3% of schools that are not using any types of security measures whatsoever.
It’s been shown that the schools with the highest number of incidences of violence are those with the most stringent forms of security! However, it is also a fact that low risk schools become victim to school violence as well. Take Columbine, for instance. Columbine was considered a low-risk school and one of the most violent school violence events occurred at this school.
Even if a school does not have extensive security measures in place due to no budget for it or another reason, schools are trying methods such as wearing name badges at all times in order to identify who should be in the building and who shouldn’t be. This prevents violence from entering the school from the outside, but still does nothing for internal violence amongst the students. It does add to the safety of the school, however.
As for what parents can do, there are signs that their children may show if they are a risk and these signs can be reported to a guidance counselor. Those signs are:
- A lack of interest in things once enjoyed
- Mood swings and depression
- Obsession with violent video games
- Violence toward animals or people
- Mentioning death more frequently
- Bringing any type of weapon to school
- Writing that shows despair
- Angry outbursts
Teachers are able to step up as well in watching for the same signs as parents and speaking to parents about these signs. Concerns should also be brought to the attention of the school guidance counselor and the administration. Furthermore, teachers should teach some type of basic anger management techniques if need be and maintain a prejudice-free classroom. It is also wise to look out for bullying that could push a student over the edge. When putting such measures into place, school violence can be reduced significantly.