School Violence Essay, Research Paper
School violence is not a new issue for the nineties. School violence has been around
since the nineteen fifties, but was more an issue of juvenile delinquency. The difference
between the 1950?s and 1990?s is that the student conflicts are more likely to be settled
with the use of weapons in the nineties. The availability of weapons today has seemingly
increased the severity of which young people settle their arguments.
From a sociological perspective, the increase of violence in
schools in poor neighborhoods is a reflection of the community itself. The social ills-
poverty, single parent homes, drugs, prostitution, teenage pregnancy and street violence
has crept into the school community. Furthermore, in poverty stricken areas, the schools
generally do not have the financial resources to spend on students compared to other
middle/upper class communities. Hence, the students from poorer communities feel they
have already been labeled as less desirable than others. This can cause frustration with
students and could often lead to violence.
Of course, we know that school violence is not limited to lower
socioeconomic areas. School violence occurs in all geographic, social or economic facets
of our society. Teachers tend to believe that school violence is a result of sociologic
factors such as: lack of parental supervision, lack of family involvement and exposure to
violence in the mass media. These factors can be traced to high divorce rates, both
parents working and the high availability of mass media,e.g. television, Internet, etc. In a
recent article in Time magazine, they claimed that school violence in suburban schools is
partially a result of society?s ?mega store? mentality. We have closed down ?mom and
pop? stores in favor of mega stores to respond to societies increased needs to save time
and money. Some school districts have responded in kind. Combining three high schools
into one results in a school that houses 1500 students, grades 9-12, rather than 500
students. This increased number limits school personnel in knowing their students on a
more personal level, which causes students who have problems to escape the notice of
teachers, staff and administrators.
Schools are not doing enough to protect students and other school
personnel. Curing social ills could take a long time, so I propose a high security approach
to the problem. The community may find this expensive and students find it oppressive,
but how many more people have to die? I propose the following strategy:
1) Police officers in every school.
2) Metal detectors at each doorway.
3) Some type of dress code- banning ?big clothes? where weapons can be hidden.
4) No book bags- only clear bags allowed.
5) Hall monitors- hallways, doorways, restrooms and cafeteria?s.
6) Train certain school personnel in weapon usage. Allow them to carry and store
weapons on campus. If students knew someone else on campus had a gun to
protect students, they may think twice about bringing one to school.
This may sound severe, but this is a direct approach to the problem.