The lack of intimacy among parents and students, students and students, and even school faculty and students plays a major role in the trend of school violence among teens. Intimacy can be defined as ‘the state of being in a very personal relationship’ or ‘a detailed knowledge resulting from a close or long association’ or ‘a close personal relationship’.
The majority of Americans have moved away from personal relationships. The attitude of ‘this is my business’ is prevalent throughout society. This is evident in the lack of neighborhoods in which neighbors look out for one another, lack of care for one’s fellow man, and an increase in the motivation to look out for ‘number one’. These are all perpetuated in the music, television, and increase in ‘reality’ TV which are viewed by everyone, especially our young people. These things influence how young people react in situations that are uncomfortable and challenging.
The school system does not foster intimacy between faculty and student or faculty and parents because of fear of legal ramifications. It is sad to think that a teacher can not console or discipline a student for fear of something happening that may be detrimental to that teacher’s career. It is true that there are some ‘predators’ out there, but for the most part care and concern are inherent traits found in most educators.
If we could begin to grow in personal relationship with one another instead of the surface, ‘what can you do for me’ associations we see, I believe that much of the violence that we see among teens would decline. This is something that has to begin in individuals particularly home. All parents and children will have to come to the place where they are able to communicate about feelings and expectations before the education system is expected to handle the problems that surface. Much of the violence is due to frustration that young people experience due to factors that can be eliminated through close, personal relationships with an adult or another student.
The bottom line is that care and concern for others has to be the primary motivation for the actions that we all take. It must begin at home with individuals, transition to the schools, and then to all other areas of life.