All throughout the U.S. violence in schools has become a significant and seemingly unstoppable problem. There have been some actions taken to prevent it, however none of them have been very effective. Worst of all, there does not seem to be just one specific reason that these violent acts occur. Rather, school violence is caused by multiple factors and it will have negative effects on students unless it is prevented.
Contrary to popular belief, most violent acts in schools are not just committed by students with dysfunctional families. An examination of all school shootings during 1996 through 1999 proved this when no clear familial pattern was shown between the shooters. There was however a pattern in the fact that all the shooters were male and all of them had experienced some sort of social humiliation or rejection before the shootings. These results conclude that most violent acts are committed by males that have coping problems who are trying to get revenge for some form of personal insult.
Nevertheless, gang affiliation among students is another major cause of school violence. Opposing gangs often have confrontations that take place on school grounds and around school hours. Gangs even increase violence among fearful non-gang members who bring weapons to school in order to make themselves feel safer.
School violence severely affects all students along with their parents and teachers. The ones affected the deepest are the victims of these violent crimes. Taking abuse from numerous people intimidates and isolates them, leading to emotional scarring such as depression along with mistrust, low self-esteem, and a ruthless desire for revenge. As referred to earlier, these emotional problems combined with poor coping skills can lead victims to commit even more horrendous crimes, such as murderous school shootings.
As a result undeserving students are killed along with their parents, schoolmates, and teachers being forced to mourn their losses. This in turn leads to other students and faculty members feeling unsafe and less comfortable in school. According to home schooled student Merrica Turner, high school students are faced with an environment defined by violence and drugs everyday. “Where do I feel most unsafe? Honestly? School; and now I’m out of there- I’m in home study now. But I was there long enough to know just how bad things are.” Turner also claims that her experience is not a single case, but rather just a sample of the crime and violence that has infiltrated schools everywhere. “If the violence continues, if the schools aren’t straightened out, it’s not just our future that will be taken away, but our kids’ futures, too.”
However, school violence can not be easily prevented. Some states try to use programs teaching students to handle confrontations and emotions, though they haven’t been very effective. In most high schools security systems and surveillance cameras are installed. If only everybody would show and promote respect towards others, then there would be no need for emotional coping programs or intensified security because no one would suffer from social rejection or feel unsafe in school.