.. isting problematic traits to help educators and parents identify the seriousness of a students threat. The report will detail warning signs in four areas of a students life: 1.) Personality, 2.) Family, 3.) School behavior, and 4.) Other factors such as drugs and alcohol. This report should be very helpful to the parents and administration in controlling the safety of their school. Some of the indicators of what would make a student turn to violence are: social withdraw, excessive feelings of isolation and persecution, and a history of aggressive behavior.
The question of what went wrong early on in these kids lives is brought up more that one. It is wondered what made them into killers where they would go out and without any conscience just kill people, their friends and classmates and then themselves. No one will ever know except for himself or herself. What steps should be taken to helping kids like this? Having school psychologists is a good idea; they are traditionally the first lines of defense. But lately they have been preoccupied in assessing kids who need to help with learning disorders. Many schools are now adopting zero tolerance policies, pulling out kids who do anything suspicious.
This works, but not always. When a school expels a student for something like violent imagery in creative writing, it is an overreaction. Or the twelve year old boy in Virginia who was expelled for waiving a stapler around on a school bus; a Florida girl was suspended for bringing a nail clipper to class, and the suspension of a nine year old boy who wrote you will die with honor when his teacher asked him to compose a fortune cookie message. It is all-ridiculous. There is no reason to go that far.
The zero tolerance rule is a good idea, but not for things like that. But for a kid who brings a gun to school or a kid who starts a fire in the school, they should be removed immediately, with no questions asked. Zero tolerance polices should cover clear and serious offenses involving weapons, violence, threat, harassment, bomb scares, drugs, alcohol and cheating. Not in simple matters like those mentioned above. Crime rates in the United States are decreasing which is very good.
Statistics show that crime rate in the U.S. has declined 6.4 percent and the murder rate has declined 7.4 percent in 1998. A poll shows that forty years ago, fifty percent of Americans reported having guns in their homes. Last year the figure was thirty-five percent. Which is good. This lessens the easiness of a child getting a gun to bring into school. A New York Times/CBS poll asked kids if they worry about being crime victims at school or on the streets and twenty-four percent said yes.
So, obviously the kids are not as concerned about a killer attending their school as the adults are. It is not clear at this point if schools are engaged in another cycle of violence or if we have evolved into a society whose culture has embraced violence as a characteristic and permanent feature. It is argues that the youth of today are coming more and more from backgrounds where antisocial behavior is more normal rather than unusual. These young people are highly agitated and invested in antisocial attitudes. They tend to see the behavior and intentions of others as biased against them.
They frequently decide to react aggressively to situations they view as challenging or threatening, very often with tragic consequences. This kind of aggression and reaction is what makes the schools dangerous. There are four factors that generally accelerate youth violence. They are: 1.) Easy access to weapons, especially hand guns, 2.) Early involvement with drugs and alcohol, 3.) Association with antisocial groups and 4.) Pervasive exposure to violent acts depicted in the media. Eight-one percent of weapons brought to school come from the home. A safe school is characterized as effective, accepting, freedom from potential physical and psychological harm, absence of violence, and being nurturing, caring, and protective.
Some school based protective factors are positive school climate and atmosphere, clear and high performance expectations for all students, good values and practices throughout the school, strong student bonding to the school environment, high levels of student participation and parent involvement in social development, and schoolwide conflict-resolution strategies. An unsafe school is characterized by lack of cohesion, chaotic, stressful, disorganized, poorly structured, ineffective, high risk, gang activity, violent incidents, unclear behavioral and academic expectations. Some risk factors are poor design and use of school space, overcrowding, lack of caring but firm disciplinary procedures, student alienation, rejection of at-risk students by teachers and peers, anger and resentment at school routines and demands for conformity, and poor supervision. Impacts and influences of school violence are: 1.) Large schools and classrooms of students, that prevents teachers from developing meaningful relationships with students and 2.) Overcrowded schools normally have higher rates of discipline problems and vandalism than schools that are at or below the enrollments for which they are intended. We must begin to reform the schools who need it.
There are direct strategies as well as indirect strategies. Examples of the direct include things such as locks on doors, metal detectors, and random searching for weapons. Indirect strategies include requiring school uniforms, and establishing a positive school climate. It is likely that more direct strategies are more effective than the indirect, but they do not change the culture of the school. It is recommended that schools maintain a zero tolerance policy for weapons, fighting, or other acts of violence, minimized the number of unlocked entrances, exits, and halls for students and visitors, require students to carry a hall pass when roaming about the school during classes and to limit the hall passes to an absolute minimum. These few strategies can be the stepping stones to making a better school enviroment. Bibliography Work Cited Lessons Learned.
American School & University, July99, Vol. 71 Issue 11 Agron, Joe Watching for Warning Signs. Newsweek, 12/20/99, Vol. 134 Issue 25, p.39 Kantroitz, Barbara; Wingert, Pat; Struzzi, Diane Cracking down on kids. U.S.
News & World Report, 12/13/99, Vol. 127 Issue 23, p19 Leo, John Ground zero of zero-tolerance for violence. Christian Science Monitor, 11/18/99, Vol. 91 Issue 247, p1 McLaughlin, Abraham Preventing School Violence. FDCH ABC Nightline, 04/21/1999 Sawyer, Diane; Gibson, Charles Dangerous Schools? Christian Science Monitor, 11/05/99, Vol. 91 Issue 239, p11 Schorr, Daniel Making Schools Safer and Violence Free.
Intervention in School & Clinic, March97, Vol. 32 Issue 4, p.199. Walker, Hill M.; Gresham, Frank M. Social Issues Essays.