Unfortunately, people today are no strangers to violence in our schools. From fights between students to the use of crude weapons by one or more students against the faculty, such incidents have become more common as time goes by. American statistics reveal a worrying trend.
In the United States alone there have been many incidents of shootings in schools ranging from kindergarten to college campuses. On August 1, 1966, at the University of Texas, a 25-year-old opened fire and killed 17 people injuring 31 in the course of his rampage that lasted for 96 minutes. Years later, a similar incident took place at Virginia Tech, where 23-year-old Seung-Hui Cho opened fire and killed 32 members of the faculty and student board before proceeding to commit suicide. High Schools are no exception either, with incidents such as the murder of 15-year-old Larry King by a fellow junior during a computer class. More recently, there have been some incidents including one where a 16-year-old student fired several bullets into a school bus that was occupied by other students in 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida.
The most pressing question related to violence and shootings in schools is, what is the cause of all these incidents? There some reasons that can be directly linked to such aggressiveness, including:
- Internalizing behaviors – most students who commit such violent acts are usually withdrawn, anxious and
- Externalizing behaviors – others often exhibit clear signs of aggression, hyperactivity, and delinquency.
- Individual factors – some traits such as attentional difficulties, lower IQ, and antisocial nature are indicative of aggression.
- Home environments – most times, violence comes as a result of a troubled situation at home.
- Neighborhoods – it is not impossible that some violent behaviors are learned from neighborhoods especially those with gang violence.
- School environment – more often than not, students react to a feeling of unfair treatment at school.
Now that it is clear where some of the violent incidents find their basis, it is of importance to deliberate on what can be done to prevent similar occurrences in the future. Schools can implement:
- Classroom strategies such as cooperative learning and the close supervision of students may result in reduced incidents by creating an appropriate environment for students to bond and confide in each other. Furthermore, online learning, essay writers online, and other educational technology can help students avoid classroom-based bullying.
- Behavioral intervention programs designed for the entire school will enable everyone to notice signs of aggression at an early stage.
- Societal change programs where members of certain neighborhoods are counseled on the effect of adult violence on the minds of children would go a long way in creating positive role models.
- A close teacher-parent relationship will help recognize whenever students are in distress and mitigate their reaction before it gets out of hand.
- Making life skills an integral part of the school curriculum will allow students to learn how to cope with stressful situations and how to engage in productive problem-solving