22 thoughts on “SCHOOL VIOLENCE/TRAUMA”

  1. School violence and trauma is a growing topic and recently, we have been seeing it happen more often. Violence is happening between students and their peers, but sadly between administration and students. More recently, we have seen the incident between the student and the police officer. That situation was traumatic for everyone involved, students who witnessed and the teacher who stood by and did nothing. Sadly. I just don’t want violence in the classroom to become the norm. I think if we look at the root of the problem with the violence, it doesn’t have to be happening so often. In class, Dr. Brown mentioned teachers taking more control of their classrooms and creating an environment of respect is a solution for eliminating violence between students, teachers and peers.

    1. I agree that teachers need to take more control of their classrooms. The situation that happened recently between the student and the police officer was completely unnecessary from multiple ends. But, as you said I think it ultimately happened because violence and not having the proper sense of control took over and became the norm. No, that video did not show situation in its entirety, but I think somewhere along the line, that teacher lost control of not only that particular student, but others as well. Dr. Brown made a great point in class by saying to never give control of the classroom to the student. If you command a classroom and have a presence and attitude about you that provokes respect as an educator, I think the classroom and school systems across the map could have the potential to become safer and more positive. If students know they will not be able to get away with something or that there will be appropriate consequences implemented they will be less likely to have behaviors that cause one to lash out or “snap” and more likely to give respect to those teachers and school officials who command it.

  2. Back in high school, I had this boyfriend who was from a rough area in town. He and his friends were so different from me and I loved it. They were kids who didn’t go to class, smoked Black & Milds, and got into fights. Eventually, they were all kicked out and sent to an alternative school. Some of them didn’t have parents, some had parents who didn’t care. Regardless of either, there was no one there to guide them or provide support. So the question is, if kids aren’t getting the tools they need to be successful at home, are they doomed? In my personal opinion, I believe that the teachers in my high school should take half of the blame.
    I remember days when they were just sent home for having sagging pants or being late to class. It was like no one took time to help them or teach them or work with them. If we look at the South Carolina incident, I wonder how different it would have been if someone had taken time with that young lady. I wonder if a teacher or counselor would have involved themselves when they noticed the student started spiraling, if this incident would have happened in the first place.

  3. Student and teacher violence has been all over the news in Louisville, Kentucky this past semester. Teachers have been quitting and the district now has a shortage of teachers midway through the year. Students do not have stability by having a substitute every day until a new teacher can be found. There are issues of students fighting each other and people ending up in the hospital. There are other incidents where students are fighting teachers and hurting them. It is evident that the district does not have control of the students. What are teachers supposed to do? What does the district need to do to reign students back in and create educative experiences again?

    The following are articles that give more detail to this:
    http://www.wdrb.com/story/30633583/two-fights-on-jcps-bus-one-student-transported-to-hospital

    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/education/2015/11/23/student-behavior-needs-jcps-focus-several-say/76275028/

    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/education/2015/11/18/jcta-teachers-call-police-if-threatened/75999668/

    http://www.wdrb.com/story/30571239/wdrb-investigates-why-jcps-refuses-to-expel-violent-students

    http://www.wdrb.com/story/30494721/jcps-struggling-to-fill-more-than-100-teacher-vacancies

  4. Looking at the security and safety of students is a high priority for schools districts, but demanding access to social media accounts by handing over passwords is not the way to go. In the article provided by Dr. Brown an excellent point was brought up by Bradley Shear, a social-media and digital-privacy lawyer, when discussing Illinois’ “Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act”. He believed that allowing school districts this sort of access into students personal lives was a slippery slope, asking what do school districts do when they are looking through students accounts and they find other illegal activity by family members?
    Mr. Shear makes a great point and it is another reason why this sort of access should never be allowed in the first place.

    I believe one way for schools to help fight bullying and other violence based around social media is to provide media literacy education to students. My group in our EDC 550 class has spent the semester researching just how important media literacy skills are, and what life looks like for students who lack these skills. These skills would help students understand technology and the impact it can have on themselves and their peers which could help reduce some of the social media based school violence that is occurring.

  5. In class we recently discussed the South Carolina incident with the student who was drug out of her desk by the police officer. I teach pre-service teachers and have recently addressed this issue with them. However, with my students, my focus was on what the teacher could have done to prevent more trauma and violence from happening to this student. I think that it is terrible that the teacher inflicted more pain and trauma because he couldn’t do his job and control his classroom. Additionally, while the police officer was completely out of line, I blame the teacher for the child being put into that situation and the police officer losing his job. I think that the teacher should be reprimanded in some way for not being able to do what teachers are taught to do, have good classroom management, be knowledgeable of your students, and innately protect your students and have their best interest at heart.

    1. I completely agree. I believe all parties take part in the blame, but I do not agree with the situation at all. No amount of force should be placed on a young girl by an older officer. Regardless if the girl was resisting or not, the officer should not have resorted to this violence because there are definitely other ways to handle it. The teacher of the classroom is definitely at fault because a child should never be given that much power to disrupt an entire classroom. There are other avenues that could have been taken. For example, the child should automatically know that disrespect or disruption is not allowed or won’t be tolerated. The teacher should not have given the student so much power over the classroom. Lastly, if the teacher still was not able to control the girl, then it should have been the principal. Under no circumstance is it okay to treat an unarmed girl in such manner. None.

  6. Dr. Brown brings up a very interesting point. How are schools supposed to protect their students, if they are not allowed to examine their social media account? The other side of this is that students should be allowed to have a private life and to keep things private. When we went to a local high school for our field visits, we talked to a teacher about a similar issue that deals with internet security and monitoring the emails and correspondence that goes on at this high school. The teacher talked about how they have IT people that are responsible for monitoring all the computers in the school and searching for troublesome searches, or key words in emails. The teacher talked about using the word “kill”. She said he sent an email to her husband joking about killing him for not making dinner. The IT department contacted her immediately to let her know that they were aware of her email and that she needed to not use that word because it sent them a notification about it, even though the word was taken out of context.

  7. Students experience traumatic events in school. Sometimes it is because of violence inflicted on them by other students. Sometimes it is miseducative experiences between the student and teacher. Sometimes students are suffering from trauma experienced outside of school when they are in your class.

    Recently I was observing a sub day in my placement school. One girl in the class was behaving extremely obstinately and disrespectfully. The substitute could not engage her in a verbal explanation of her actions; the student was silently defiant. The substitute ruined the relationship with the student by threatening and yelling at her causing her to shut down farther.

    When interacting with your students, especially in matters regarding classroom management, it is important to realize that your students have had many different life experiences. Sometimes an authoritarian approach to management issues is not the best approach. Sometimes it’s better to give students space and let them breathe.

    1. I agree completely with you. I have learned first hand when student teaching that not all students respond to authority figures in the same manners. Not all students have been taught the appropriate ways to respond to these figures. In order to gain attention and a class to listen you must harness an atmosphere of respect and high rapport. If the students respect you they will be more likely to listen to you.

      This topic reminds me of recent events that have happened in South Carolina. The incident involved a police officer and a student and turned violent really fast. Here is a link to the video: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sheriff-says-third-video-shows-south-carolina-student-punching-officer-n452481

      What do you all think about this incident? What could have been done to prevent it, if anything? What should happen to the police officer? The student?

    2. I agree with one of the above comments. When I was in elementary, middle, and high school I did not respond well to the “authoritarian approach”. I had a dominant personality so when a teacher attempted to assert an authoritative power over me, it turned into a battle. From my experiences, I do not think these types of children are always problematic. I do not think they always have behavioral problems, and they are not always hard to control. I grew up with dominant and assertive parents, and that influenced how I reacted in situations. There are multiple personality types that are not easily submissive to authority, and if they do not agree with a principle, they will battle it. I would not consider this a lack of respect for authority or bad parenting. I think all students should be able to voice their opinions in situations they do not believe the “authoritative figure” is correct. Dominant children are often frowned upon in elementary, middle, and high school settings, because they are not following the typical “I am the teacher, you are the student role, so you listen to me” paradigm. However, when they proceed on to college, they can provide insightful perspectives in discussions, they can voice opinions, and in my own experience, I have made significant impacts on research projects I have been working on with professors, solely because I am not afraid to disagree with those in a higher position than me.

  8. In another course this semester, my group is investigating perceptions of hookup culture at the University of Kentucky. Through participant-observation, survey distribution, and interview methodology, we are gathering opinions on this university subculture to potentially uncover correlation with campus sexual assault rates. Using the National DOJ Sexual Assault Report in conjunction with the recently released report of UK’s sexual assault rates, we are initiating a discussion on specific gender and sexuality-based violence at school. This topic goes hand-in-hand with my group’s focus on media literacy; many media portrayals of sex, sexuality, and violence marginalize specific identities and can contribute to a lesser-informed population who learns behaviors from images/music they consume. By incorporating discussions of identity and inclusivity into media literate classrooms, hopefully we can see a decrease in sexually-based offenses and violence overall.

  9. Schools are being sued for monitoring students’ personal social media accounts. Research indicates that the new form of bullying is via social media and child predators troll social media for victims. If schools can’t monitor their students’ social media accounts, are there alternative ways to keep children emotionally and physically safe? Should schools be allowed to monitor? Read the story at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/02/18/schools-weigh-access-to-students-social-media.html#

    1. If schools are being sued for monitoring social media use, one thing that they can do is promote safe social media through educating their students. Schools can put in place safe social media programs or lessons that teach students the dangers that are out there via social media such as sexual predators or stalkers. They can also talk about consequences of their actions on social media and bring up cases where students were punished for cyber bullying on facebook or other social media sites. If there are open conversations on safe social media practices, it would definitely make the students more aware of what they are doing and allow them to make informed decisions for themselves. If students learn early on that they have to take responsibility for their Internet presence it can also keep them out of trouble when they apply for jobs or for college. Another thing that teachers can do is incorporate social media into their lessons and use it as a connection into safe and effective social media lessons. Things like twitter and instagram hastags for class projects can allow the students to post things and view each others thoughts while giving the teacher the opportunity to explain that anyone in the world that searches those keywords can see what thy put on the internet.

    2. While I do believe that by having schools monitor social media accounts will help to eliminate some of the cyber bullying, it does take away the students’ constitutional rights. Therefore, I do not believe that schools should be allowed to monitor these accounts. However, I do believe that setting up social media support groups in schools could be one possible way to keep children safer. While it is impossible to completely end bullying, these situations can be better handled by letting students know that there is a group set up just for them when they experience cyber bullying. While schools cant directly monitor social media accounts, this support group would allow for students to freely show their accounts to adults and school personnel when they experience cyber bullying. This will allow school personnel to step in with proof given to them by another student. This would be one way to help seek out those who do the bullying and discipline them accordingly.

    3. Although the intentions of those school districts are good, I think that monitoring student’s social media accounts is crossing boundaries. This should be a parent or guardian’s duty rather than another authoritative role that school administration should have to take on. Instead of making that boundary cross into a student’s personal life, why can’t they educate students about safe social media and internet usage. Children are known to press the boundaries when they are told “no”, so why not present it as “If you are going to use social media, make sure you do it in a safe, secure, and appropriate manner.” If school officials are so concerned about monitoring what students post to social media, they should prohibit social media use not only in school, but also on school technology (iPads, Computers, etc). I think with implementing rules such as these could cause more harm than actual benefits, with the onset of legal issues and parent/community uproar.

  10. Educators are in a great position to refer resources to students and their parents. I think there is only so much that a parent and/or a teacher can do, and violence/trauma is probably better addressed to its fullest extent by a psychologist. Through my interview yesterday, I found it interesting that even school counselors will make outside referrals to psychologists depending on the problems.

  11. I wonder if stronger and more available preschool programs are part of the solution, as well (although who will pay for it still concerns me). If children are taught at younger ages (from teachers if not their own parents) that violence is wrong and will bring harm to others, perhaps their later world views can be altered. Even basic lessons to not bite and not hit might influence a child later in life. Earlier socialization and lessons on working together with peers might also help to counteract negative lessons children receive elsewhere.

    1. I wonder why there’s such a large gap between the first two incidents? It was interesting to see how these events began to multiply once the late ’50s, early ’60s arrived.

    1. Educators can allow students to have open class discussions/debates on why violence is happening in school. Which could lead to conversations about bullying. These kinds of discussions can allow students to understand their peers better if they are able to talk about problems and express themselves openly.

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