School Slayings and Violence in the United States

“Give me your lunch money or I’ll blow your brains out!”

As insane as that line might sound, it’s not all that unheard of these days as it’s assumed that every place of education, be it a college, high school, or even junior high school has become a powder keg waiting to explode. What is the cause of this? Why have things gotten so bad?

Discipline
Somewhere along the line the students have gained more and more power in schools. Rabid soccer moms showing up to PTA meetings seem to think that they know more about how to run a school than the actual faculty. First they ban corporal punishment, then they say that detentions are too harsh, and finally they get upset when little Billy or Susie comes home with a grade less than a C. It must be the teachers’ faults because their children are perfectly innocent and would never hurt anyone at home. Then the lawyers come in and tremendous lawsuits continue to tie the administrations’ hands even further. Soon, the teachers have to have actual fences between themselves and the students to stay safe.

Cliques
Everyone has seen “The Breakfast Club” and knows all about the various social groups that form in high schools. You’ve got your smart kids, your athletes, your popular girls who usually date the popular boys, and your outcasts that choose not to fit into any groups. As with all levels of the animal kingdom, you’ll have groups that try and prey upon other groups to establish dominance over the others. Whether it’s to gain social status, or as a release to their own lack of self-esteem, it can get nasty fast. This kind of bullying can only go on so long before those that are bullied seek revenge. If they don’t have the physical means to defend themselves, they’ll turn to anything they can get such as knives, guns, explosives, etc.

Movies and Video Games
Now, this is in no way meant to be a way to rationalize censorship, but somewhere along the line Hollywood and the video game industry has to realize that constantly showing wanton acts of destruction on the screen (big or small) that have no consequences isn’t going to have the best impact on impressionable minds. Perhaps a little common sense should go into the production of these works or at least a higher rating before they’re placed in the hands of people that are still trying to develop a true sense of right and wrong. However, movies and video games would be so bad if they were better explained by

Parents
No other force in the world can have a bigger impact on a growing child than their own parents. All too often, mom and/or dad will drop off their kid at school and forget about them. When the child returns from school, they won’t ask how their day was. They won’t take the time to find out what the kids are learning in school. They won’t find out if the kids are being bullied. They won’t take the time to do ANYTHING. They just expect the schools to educate them, and Tv, the movies, and video games to entertain them. Then, when something goes wrong they go and blame everyone else for the child suddenly “going wild”.

School violence is nothing new. It’s been going on since schools started. Only recently has it gotten to the point where “the quiet ones” are suddenly standing up and saying that they’re not going to take it anymore. However, when their parents ignore them, their teachers say that they can do nothing and their peers are cheering them on, that they learn that the only way to solve their problems is through deadly violence. But, it’s not too late. Instead of complaining to the PTA, your student’s principals, your lawyers, or your Congressman, perhaps you should try talking to your child and finding out what’s bothering them. If you find out that there’s someone bullying your child, find out how you can have that problem removed. A school should be a place of learning not of fear.