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School Violence

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Has violence in schools changed over the past decades? Or has the way the violence occurred changed? School violence is not a new issue but rather a revamped issue. In the 1950s school violence was coined juvenile delinquency rather than actual violent behavior. This violence consisted of school yard fighting and a bit of vandalism to school property. Now school violence includes weapons. The fact that a gun is more intimidating than a fist or a knife does more damage than a foot. For students in this decade there is nothing more freighting than showing up at school not knowing what the day will bring. Students are faced with this fear everyday of wondering if the fight yesterday is over or if the student that was mad with the teacher has calmed down.

One reason for such school violence is peer pressure. The use of violence to control another person is a way to release those feelings of anger and/or frustration. A friends and foes are adding to that release with encouragement to fight. With fighting it almost always turns into additional struggle of losing and wanting to regain status with friends and letting foes know who is boss. Students feel there is no other way to handle the problem. Violence is a learned behavior and a way to stay a leader of the pack in some school districts. The peer pressure and violence is another way to fit in with your schools environment for some.

Another reason for school violence as we are all familiar with is the music of the generation. In the artist personas they are idealizing violent acts as a way to be recognized in the community. The lyrics in the songs are those of idolizing the use of guns and other weaponry to show who is boss. The students are placing these artist and their lyrics as role models. They believe that if they are a victim of violence or the person doing the violent act that it makes them stand out and be recognized. They see it as a way of stardom in the field of the music industry. For example when rapper 50 cent came into the recording and records world his entire career focused on his life in the street as a gang banger and being shot 9 times. The record label Death Row personified violence in many ways with the east coast west coast violent acts among performers.

Teachers feel that school violence is a response to the lack of parental supervision, lack of family involvement, and exposure to violence in the mass media. These factors could be linked directly back to economy, unemployment, welfare, single parent homes, mothers raising boys, missing fathers, high divorce rates, working parents, television, internet, etc. Most children can not displace fantasy from reality so if the media portrays a certain behavior as being accepted students will follow. In essence students who observe and interpret aggressive behavior will begin to view it as beneficial and rewarding. It has always been said that economical hardship leads to a person going



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