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Violent Acts In School Sociology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 2449 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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School violence is considered as a youth violence that occurs within schools, from the way to and from schools and also even during events that are sponsored by the schools. Violence is of many forms and it affects people in a multitude of perspectives. Some form of violence such as slapping, hitting, bullying can lead to more emotional trauma than physical one. The severity of the form of the harm may be arguable however we can lay a general consensus that both forms are equally harmful. There are many other forms of violence which are more drastic involving weapons, gangs which lead to severe physical damages to the point that it can even lead to death. This paper deals with various types of such violence and their effects.

Keywords: school violence, violent students, violent acts in school, stop school violence.


Violence, as defined by the WHO is the use of physical power against another person or group or community resulting in harmful effects such as psychological harm, injury, deprivation or even death. One of the most prominent instances of violence is seen in the form of bullying in schools. Even our elementary school textbooks highlight specific stories regarding bullying and the same is seen in the form of strict rules imposed in our school handbooks. Thus it doesn’t come as a surprise that parents, administrators, and students are all familiar with this harmful act of bullying.

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Children try to avoid the fear of being successively punished by the abuser by not reporting to the people who are concerned the most for their health and well-being. Sometimes the participants do not find any faults in being subjected to violence and view it as a justified act or a necessary punishment. Often, bullying causes a child victim to feel ashamed and guilty and this ultimately ends up as the reason for their silence. The global study recently conducted by the UN secretary general revealed the increase in violence and documenting these acts against children to be the primary reason for cruelty and violence shown against children.

Studies reveal that violence exists in every country of the world and it cuts across culture, class, education, income and ethnic origin (Felitti, Anda, Nordenberg, Williamson, Spitz, Edwards, Koss, Marks 1998; Krug,Dahlberg, Mercy, Zwi and Lozano 2002; Reza, Mercy and Krug 2002;Curie, Molcho, Boyce, Holstein, Torsheim and Richter 2004; WHO 2006). As study in Unicef 2007, has shown that, violence among the learners are low, which ranges from 4 percent from violence sexually to 40 percent in the case of physical violence. Most learners will report cases of physical violence to school teachers (45.1%) and also the head teacher (34.5%). Some of the major reasons why learners will not report cases of violence especially for physical and gender based violence were because they felt nothing will be done. Civilizing the quality of education is most important and intricate not addressing towards the violence in schools, because even though how much better the subject or the teachers are, it would always be difficult for students due to violence occurring in schools. The effects of school violence can lead to a range of effects including stress, depression, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) also including severe effects like suicidal tendencies, inclination to spread chaos, and also a tendency to become aggressive or violent.

Different acts of violence are considered to be being bullied, being bullied by teachers, cyber bullying, violence, shooting in schools.

How School Violence Affects Health

Deaths resulting from school violence are only part of the problem. Many young people experience nonfatal injuries. Some of these injuries are relatively minor and include cuts, bruises, and broken bones. Other injuries, like gunshot wounds and head trauma, are more serious and can lead to permanent disability Not all injuries are visible. Exposure to youth violence and school violence can lead to a varied collection of negative health behaviors and outcomes, including alcohol and drug use and suicide. Depression, anxiety, and many other psychological problems, including fear, can result from school violence.

What leads to Violent Acts?

A lot of factors can add to the risk of a youth engaging in aggressiveness or violence at school level. However, the existence of these factors within a child does not always mean that a he or she will become an offender.

Risk factors for youth and school violence includes:

• Violence history in the past in child’s life

• Using of drugs, tobacco or alcohols

• Association with delinquent peers

• Poor family functioning within homes

• Poor scores in school or poor performance

• Poverty within the community

Data analyzed revealed that many things do cause violent behavior in children among which are poor supervision by school authorities (82%), peer influence (82.8%), exposure to violent films(85.2%) and emotional instability (79.8%) just to mention a few.

It is said that education begins at home. The same is applicable to the tendency of violence. Studies show us two very disturbing realities. One that children who are subjected to regular violence, physical or verbal at home have a tendency to become introverts and thus are more likely to be bullied in the school which again makes them victims of violence. The second one is even worse. It is shown that children who are subjected to violence at home often start to think of violence as a solution to problems and thus they too become advocators of violence giving rise to a vicious chain or a circle as they again become parents who are abusive to their children and the chain continues.

The extended family of the forties (40s) and fifties (50s) are no longer existential in our society today. To satisfy the needs of the nuclear group, generally both the parents work out of the necessity to meet their costs. The consequence of this act results in the negligence of supervision of their children. The parent child relationship is hampered and there is a breakdown in the governance which allows children to make their own decision without the discretion of their parents. The child becomes the dominating factor. Also, sibling violence would later set the path to later violence in school environment. It starts with bullying the siblings and eventually ends at bullying their peers at school.

Children at very early age learn violence from television by watching cartoons. These humorous undamaging half-hour scenes, that make us laugh or enjoy, are the first presentation of violence that our children see. These shows tell our children that violence is not a problem. It makes them frozen to the horror of the real violence experiencing around them. Through statistical studies, 86% of the violent acts don’t have any unconstructive repercussions, no signs of death, no one goes to jail, 47% of the violent acts on television do not hurt the sufferer, and no one’s life is bankrupt. While 73% of all the time the “bad guy” or the criminal goes without punishment. Media glamorizes violence, thus teaching our children that being violent is not a problem to the society.

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(Source: Psychology in School (2004))

Some facts about child abuse:

Approx. Five children die daily because of child abuse and violence.ʉ۬

One-fifth (1 /5) boys and one-third (1 / 3) girls is sexually violated before they reach age 18.

Ninety percent (90%) of child sexual abuse or violence, victims knows the perpetrator in some way. 

Most of the children happen to be victims of child abuse.

In 2010, 1,537 children died of violence or overlook.

• 79.4 % were under the age of 4.

3.6 million Cases of child violence has been reported in each year only in U.S. and it is also found that out of them over 6 million children are involved.

About 80 % of 21-yr-olds who were violated as a child were found that they suffered from at least one kind of disorder that is psychologically related.

Children who were violated sexually were found that they put themselves towards practice of safe sex which puts them at a more risk of being affected with sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s). And it is even found that 25% of them are experience teen pregnancy.

Risk Factors

1. The individual child externalizing and internalizing behaviors

Between the externalizing behavior and internalizing behavior, a proper distinction is made. The kinds of internalizing behavior are anxiety, inhibition, withdrawal or depression. In youth violence, this kind of internalizing behavior is found but in youth substance or drug abuse causes depression. Students with these internalizing problems rarely express their feeling and thus are often neglected or overlooked by school personals. While externalizing behavior is considered to be people who bully or harass others, and enjoy doing so. These people pose as risk to such violence that occurs in school level.

2. Other individual factors

A lot of individuals are also related with aggressiveness or violence of higher levels. Children whose antisocial behavior or actions begins late, early starts have even worse effect than these children. Even people with lower intelligence are considered to have higher level of aggressiveness. Other facts indicate that boy’s early attention difficulties, reading problems and motor skills predict that it persists to antisocial conduct.

3. Home environment

Home environment is also considered to be an important part in school violence. Latest study has shown that if a child is exposed too much towards domestic violence, any kind of physical molestation, parents involved in alcoholism, children being bullied or ragged or any kind of gun violence or abuse done sexually on children makes them feel that these kind violence or molestation or criminal activities are proper to them. If parental discipline are harsh, then it also leads to higher level of violence in youth. Even scientific studies have stated that children exposed to television violence like cartoons where violence are shown and is considered to be okay, and also games which are violent also leads to more fierceness among children.

4. Other Reasons

Other reasons range from violent shootings and other acts of violence where mental illness, psychological disorders contributes. In some instances, a drug deal gone badly, an issue between a girlfriend and boyfriend, a disagreement among friends or a gang-related argument may also lead to violence in schools.

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Efforts to stop violent acts committed in school

(1) When parents and teachers are more involved in student’s life, then it might result to less school violence in his life. Teachers can see problems before they occur and they are in the suitable situation to see the problems occurring and help students when they are in potentially volatile situations. So teachers can take steps to prevent these violent acts of these potentially volatile aggressors. Parents are close to their children and so they are more capable of providing a moral structure and also help to solve the problem when their children face more challenging or difficult situations. Both teachers and parents could work as a team to prevent such kind of violent acts that occur in schools.

Drawback: But the drawback that occurs in normal life situation is that teachers and parents don’t have enough time to manage or monitor their children as needed to stop this violence. Due to urbanization parents tend to move away from their children and with high rate of divorce and schools being overcrowded, it is a real tough job to manage each and every children’s life discreetly. The television acts as the babysitter for the children which in this case with latchkey children. Parents, who work hard, bring their work with them to their homes while they are trying to cook or clean or in any household activities so that they can keep their job as well as monitor their children closely.

(2) Another kind of solution that would prevent this kind of violence would be to educate their children about the effect of being bullied and harassed and how it affects their physiological behavior. We all know that these bullies or harassed students who feel that they have no other recourse results to gun violence. If we educate these bullies about the effect of harassment on physiological level, then they might stop bullying smaller children and thus reduce such violence. Majority of public school principals (about 78%) have reported that they have conducted a formal school violence reduction and (School Violence) prevention programs. With this bully prevention and reduction program, the violence against these children could reduce a lot though much difference in results has not been seen, but violence has been drastically reduced.

Drawback: But this solution might not be achievable if children enjoy bullying or harassing others. If they enjoy what they are doing then education or reduction program will have no effect on these children. It might be possible that their parent have suffered though bullies and harassment and possibly transferring their legacy to their children themselves and feeling that they have no other outlet. With education and reduction program, there is very less chance of change in their act of violence and so the solution would be to treat them properly by psychiatrists who are trained to solve such physiological behaviors thus reducing violence to a certain level. Even with these sensitive classes, it won’t affect the minds of potential aggressors to stop bullying.

(3) And so the best of all solution to prevent school violence is considered to be having more and more adults involving the child’s life. This would also include in promotion of child’s pride and also having more involvement in life of teachers and parents. There should also be more school programs to prevent such activities of violence and also a peer group therapy would effect in serious reduction of such activities. Schools like Stephens consider bullying to be serious offence and takes serious steps to prevent such acts. This kind of programs and rules would considerably reduce school violence significantly.


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