Although Media Continues to Influence Youth, Violence in Schools is Down
So often, it’s easy to wonder what this world is coming to.
In recent years, beginning with the massacre at Columbine High School and continuing recently to the deadliest shooting in United States history at Virginia Tech University, violence in schools has risen to the forefront as one of our nation’s biggest concerns in the education system. From April 20, 1999, the date of the Columbine massacre, to April 16, 2007, the Virginia Tech tragedy, 278 innocent students have been mulled down by gunmen in our schools. These incidents have left many dead and others wondering how the unwarranted mayhem, if possible, can be stopped.
What is tragic about these events is that they are not isolated incidents, but ones which seem to be a trend in our society.
What is more tragic is that we continue to foster an environment which breeds such behavior.
Why can’t we wake up and realize the grave consequences of our violent movies, videos, and music that have become a billion-dollar industry. The youth of America continues to be desensitized to hate by video and computer games through portrayals of devious sex, violence, and hatred. These mediums are further encouraged through books, magazines, and especially the Internet.
No more can we casually say that these mediums of influence do not have their power. With nearly all of the shootings being traced back to have been derived from ideas of movies, video games, or music lyrics, the thought of the media’s negative influence on today’s teenagers cannot be left without considering.
Clearly, something is wrong. Yet, despite the horror portrayed on the news and influences in the media, there appears to be hope.
A national report by the federal departments of Education and Justice showed a 50-percent drop in school violence over the past 10 years. It appears to be the strongest signal yet that preventative actions integrated by schools amid a string of fatal school shootings in the 1990s are finally paying off.
Although violence is down, with five outbreaks of violence in schools over the past six months and 43 deaths, there is still a serious problem to be dealt with both in schools across the United State and the political system of the nation to regulate what is heard and seen by our teenagers today as a protocol to help deter the violent acts that cause them to disrupt and end so many lives of innocent people.