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Addressing School Violence in the United States - Essay Example

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Violence at school is one of the most serious problems in the United States today. This has been well exemplified by bloody shootings in a variety of American educational establishments ranging from the primary school to high school …
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Addressing School Violence in the United States
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"Addressing School Violence in the United States"

Download file to see previous pages Statistically, during the school years of 2008-2009, there were fixed 38 violent deaths on school premises, among students aged 5-18. As for non-fatal violent cases, 1.2 million students suffered from thefts and assaults back in 2008 (Robers, Zhang, and Truman, 2010). The school shootings mentioned above have been classified as “rampage violence”. It has been established that the acts of rampage violence at school have much in common with other acts of massive violence unrelated to schools. Along with rampage shootings at workplace and political terrorism, these acts have been committed by males who were mentally disturbed (Harris & Harris, 2012, p. 1054). Along with rampage shootings, school violence in the United States includes a list of the following undesired behaviors and anti-social acts: acts against people’s property and objects (for example, arson, theft, acts of vandalism, etc), acts against same-sex and opposite sex peers (bullying, assault, intimidation, rape, harassment, etc), acts against school staff (sexual offences, theft, assault). Besides, Algozzine and McGee also mention “victimless acts” here, which include skipping classes, for example (Algozzine & McGee, 2011, p.91). ...
d that school prevention harassment consultations should be carried out by principals and teachers at schools, with emphasis on engaging students in a meaningful dialogue (Wessler, 2011). Further, intervening at the point of school entry is recommended to prevent undesirable behavior at an early age through implementation of the First Step to Success program (Walker, Severson, Feil, Stiller, and Golly, 1998). In order to devise effective policies targeted at handling rampage school violence in the United States, first of all, changes need to be done on the level of scholarly research into the problem. Specifically, the solution which is expected to lead to better understanding of rampage school violence is doing transdisciplinary research (Harris & Harris, 2012, p.1055). Since the existing explanations of rampage violence at American school given by sociologists and mental health experts have been found inadequate in interpreting the criminal actions, a multi-factor approach was suggested. It suggests that 5 basic factors need to be studied in order to understand the nature of rampage violent attacks. Specifically, within Newman’s explanatory model, these factors include individual marginalization, exposure to certain cultural scripts, weapon access, inadequacy of surveillance systems at schools, and psychosocial factors that magnify the marginalization (Harris & Harris, 2012, p.1055). Taken Newman’s model as a basis, Harris & Harris suggest that school violence should be studied in a broader context. While they find Newman’s approach limited sociologically, Harris & Harris believe uniting the efforts of scholars in mental health, epidemiologic, social, criminal, and neurobiological spheres will help produce desirable results once the data are used for policy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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