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Teen Age Violence in Schools

School violence has always been is a serious problem for many countries and equally in France as well especially in public schools. The plague of school violence spreading across France reached Jean Zay junior high school, when a student beat an adult monitor. In an other incident at the Alfred Mezieres technical school in Longwy, in northeastern France, a 17-year-old boy with a heavy stammer endured three months of torture by classmates in an unsupervised shop class--bone-crunching in a vise, burns with a soldering iron--without saying a word to parents or teachers. A younger student who saw it happened finally dared to report the abuse, and the principal had to force the traumatized victim to talk about his brutal tendency.

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School administrators are more concerned with preventing the more everyday school violence. They are more concerned with keeping proper discipline in a school and making sure that the school experience is a pleasant and safe one for the student. So this is a very long-standing phenomenon. People are more concerned about it today not necessarily because the problem has gotten worse, but because our expectations have gotten higher. In these rising troubled circumstances the quality of education in France will become somewhat complex without addressing school violence regardless of how good the teachers or curriculum are. There is some regional evidence that juvenile violence, including school violence, is increasing. Some even suggest that juvenile violent crime has tripled since 1960.

Why Teen Age Violence

Teen-age violence has many faces. It embraces gang activity, locker thefts, bullying and intimidation, use of weapons, physical assault. Violence is committed against students, teachers, and staff, and ranges from intentional grudges to accidental loss of life by spectator. There are many contributing factors, which contribute towards teen-age violence.  For example a young child is exposed to the garbage very early in life with messages of hate and violence when they enter adolescence not knowing the difference between reality and horrific entertainment, the two merge, causing a unique disorder. The entertainment industry in particular is the shining example of what is wrong with our society. The violent and sinful material they create is definitely having an adverse effect on our youth and placing offensive material before the youth which is certainly not to be valued.

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Youth violence is not a problem created by schools and schools are part of the solution to this broader social problem of youth alienation. Another reason for teenage violence is handling the weapons. Most of the students who are involved in school violence regularly carry weapons to school. This is because the youth see the weapons at their homes and are frequently handling the same. Due to not sufficient checks on them by the parents they get the same to school and involve in firing and killing the schoolmates. A large number of guns are confiscated every year from students.

The associated reason for the teen-age violence is the crime and violence shown in the films. The use of weapons and the terror, which is the honor of the film leading characters, influence the young’s who try to imitate the same and get involved in the violence. The arguments between the youth on petty matters and lack of their ability to handle such situations make them commit violence to solve their own affairs.

  Violence prevention

Both parents and the school administration have greater responsibility towards this problem to assist government in overcoming the ailing aspect of educational institutes.  Limiting the exposure of young children to various artistic expressions would certainly be a step in the right direction. Parents of young children should not permit any disturbing material to be accessible. Internet usage as well as television should be monitored for young children.

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Poverty which lays a foundation of anger and discontent is to be eradicated and Illegitimacy and the breakdown of families, which lead children to seek the stability and caring environments of gangs, be reduced. Domestic violence and child abuse, which foster learning and behavior problems, frustration, and retaliation, should be eliminated from our society. The drug culture and its violent distribution network, which encourage students to arm themselves should be addressed and dealt severely. Discrimination, which worsens the frustration and anger of minority students, must not prevail. Violent cultural imagery, from TV shows to sympathetic news coverage of militaristic foreign policy, which effects children to the violence should be avoided.

Materialism and advertising, which creates a culture where children are manipulated and feel exploited, should be watched carefully. Competitiveness and high parent expectations, which make children, lose the identity and uniqueness of childhood before their time should also be reduced. Their parents and teachers both need to learn control their emotions and also must learn to condition children to avoid arguments, which lead towards violence. The weapons must not be allowed at any cost to be handled by the teenagers either at home or at school.

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The policies towards teenage violence must be directed towards mending the youth and not towards punishing them, which may make them criminals.  The innovation and experimentation in schools through decentralization and deregulation will prove very effective. Incentives do matter a lot, so effectively addressing school violence must also include some level of parental choice, and an emphasis on private, voluntary, contractual methods. Mere restrictions will not prove effective but combining restrictions with regular coaching will make the difference.

Like other parts of our community, public education is under great pressure -- the pressure of high expectations. Public school teachers are continually trying to meet these challenges. But to succeed, they need the involvement and support of the community -- a community with confidence in the future of public education. We all can help build that confidence by exposing the myths.

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Works Cited

Thomas Toch, Ted Gest, and Monika Guttman, "Violence in schools," U.S.News & World Report, vol. 115,

Irwin A. Hyman, School Discipline and School Violence Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1997

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