There are approximately 50 million children enrolled in school in the United States. Although the majority of these schools are safe and have never had an incidence of serious violence like what has happened recently, many of them have or will have. No amount of violence in school is acceptable but it is almost impossible to have that many different children interacting every day without some type of negative interaction. But, what can we do about controlling it before another mass casualty?
Nobody wants to think about their child being bullied or even that their child may be the one doing the bullying. However, bullying is the number one cause of youth violence in schools across the world. This may include verbal abuse, hitting, punching, berating, threatening, pushing, or even gun violence. The recent school shootings have brought gun violence to a head across the United States but maybe they are missing the point. The students who opt to bring these guns to school and shoot others are not doing it just because gun safety is lacking. It is because of something that has happened to them, either at home or at school, or it could be a mental illness that has been overlooked. After all, plenty of people in the United States have guns but they do not all pull them out and shoot someone just because they can. Only the ones with mental instability or aggressive tendencies will do that and that is what we need to be addressing.
In a survey done of adolescents in 2015, close to eight percent admit to having been in a physical altercation with another student at school in the past year. That is almost four million students who have gotten into physical fights in school in the past 12 months. Over 20% of the students reported that they had been bullied within the past year. What’s more, there were more than 486 thousand violent incidents between students aged 12 to 14 in America in 2014. That is an average of 1,331 violent altercations per day across the United States! Had this been caused by a higher number of guns owned by adolescents, maybe it would be an issue. However, although the violence has increased tenfold from 1993 to 2015, the amount of adolescents who had a gun or brought a gun to school decreased from 7.9% to 5.3%. That should be a good indication that owning or having access to a gun does not have anything to do with the increase in violence in schools.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of bullying or school violence, you should seek help from a professional as soon as possible. Due to the abundance of high tech devices available and popular to teens nowadays, online therapy has become a huge success in counseling adolescents in all mental health categories. Therefore, getting your child to talk to a therapist online is much easier than getting them to go with you to talk to one in person. You do not even need to make an appointment and your teen will be able to share their thoughts and concerns with the therapist 24 hours a day, any day of the week. Try it today at no cost to you.
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