School violence can be defines the set of behavior that goes against an educational climate of respect and mission of a school. The behaviors are characteristic of jeopardizing the purpose and intention of a school to be away from hostility against property or persons, weapons, drugs, disorder, and disruptions. School violence can go beyond greatly publicized events of mass bloodshed to comprise the acts like extortion, bullying, and threats. Thus, school violence comprises of a varied range of asocial behavior that must be addressed by law enforces (Sexton-Radek, 2005).
It has been found that, those individuals who are involved in bringing about school violence are classified into two groups, namely, insiders and the outsiders. The insiders include students within the school community, and this group of insiders can be divided into sociopaths and psychopaths. The sociopaths are the bullies who incite other students to fight and as well manipulate others, while the psychopaths are the socially awkward loners whose potential for school violence is well defined. The other group that is referred to as “outsiders” includes the visiting students from other educational institutions or even the school’s former students. Communities must be well prepared regarding the possible school violence that can be brought about by either of the groups. At best, particular signs of warning may designate potential violence while specific factors may be used to indicate a greater probability of an individual to carry out violence in school (Schier, 2008).
Actually the causes of violence in schools are varied and complex. As the forensic psychologists study criminal behavior, they consider school killers to be totally different from the violent youth, for instance the drug dealers or gang members. For any reason, the school killers feel powerless after which they start obsessing over injuring or killing other students. As the individuals feel that somebody is intimidating or taunting them, they don’t hesitate to make direct threats regarding the bullies. They frequently express these plans and thoughts towards other students. Studies by Fein & Vossekuil (1999) show that there are many possible causes of violence in schools, some of them being domestic abuse, gang activities, overcrowded schools, bullying, depression, drug abuse, and anger issues among others. It is of great significance for the parents, teachers and even students to understand the possible causes of violence in schools so that incase some potential violence is predicted, they can take responsibility toward preventing it from happening. Bullying, as an identified cause of school violence, has to be discussed further.
Rigby (2007) defines bullying as an act of recurrent violent behavior that is meant to intentionally harm another person, mentally or physically. Bullying is usually characterized by the behaviors of individuals trying to gain power over others, for example a student threatening other fellow students who are physically weaker, to show them that he is more powerful. Therefore, this imbalance of power can either be physical or social powers or both at the same time. Sometimes the victim of bullying is known as a target. Bullying comprises three major types of abuse, namely verbal, physical and emotional. It generally involves elusive methods of compulsion for instance psychological manipulation. The case of bullying in schools is very serious and prevalent nowadays disturbing educators in various schools. However, bullying is one of the problems that started long time ago, but it has not received appropriate attention as compared to other problems and issues which are seriously given attention.
A number of abuses in schools that are considered bullying include physical abuse, taunting, and exclusion from groups and pastimes. The students that participate in this type of abuse are usually referred to as nerds, and they have been found to possess no solid circle of friends. It has been clear that the bullied students feel isolated, inadequate, and as well feel that they are imprisoned by their bullies. Even if most of the students in schools are very docile since they don’t take any step toward the abuse of bullying, many incidences have been depicted in schools and these have been seen to bring about deadly consequences. Whitted & Dupper (2005) found that about 250 deaths have been experiences in schools within the past 13 years due to violence. It has shown that most of the students, who have been participating in the violent actions which have led to many deaths, are the bullied ones who have had enough from their bullies. It is vey true that a student who has never displayed violent actions can do so following being bullied. It is unfortunate that bully cannot be identified easily when it is done, but once it has been identified; parents and teachers need to curb it in schools so that to avoid the deathly consequences.
In most cases bullying is seen almost incapable of doing any harm and many people, including the authority members of schools, perceive it like a childish behavior and not a big deal, not knowing that it is a very serious behavior which can result into many losses. Through research carried out by Whitted & Dupper (2005), it has been seen that bullying can negatively interfere with affected child’s education as well as bring about problems with isolation, anxiety and depression, and can also lead to violent behavior which is the greatest cause of violence in schools. Nowadays, through the daily news, most of the people are more informed about school violence as compared to the past days, and because of this, the cases of bullying in schools are no longer taken slightly. Therefore, the violence in most schools due to bullying is seen to reduce.
In an attempt to ensure that our children are safe and are given the best education ever, it’s very important to take bullying cases into consideration, and make sure that they don’t harm the children in whichever way. Bullying can frequently bring about violence in schools if it is not detected earlier and dealt with. This is the reason to why people should take the issue of bullying serious, and as well they should be kept informed about the current news concerning bullying, its causes and consequences.
- Fein, R.A., & Vossekuil, B.V. (1999). Assassination in the United States: An operational study of recent assassins, attackers, and near-lethal approachers. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 44, 321-333.
- Rigby, K., (2007). Bullying in Schools. Camberwell: ACER Press.
- Schier, H., (2008). The Causes of School Violence. Washington: Abdo Publishing Company.
- Sexton-Radek, K., (2005). Violence in Schools. New York: Praeger Publishers.
- Whitted, K.S. & Dupper, D.R. (2005). Best Practices for Preventing or Reducing Bullying in Schools. Children and Schools, Vol. 27, No. 3, July 2005, pp. 167-175(9).