By Manfred Tan, The Wall Street Journal
Published: 19 Mar 2019 - 10:08 PM
School Violence is defined as physical violence, including student-on-student fighting and corporal punishment; psychological violence, including verbal abuse; sexual violence, including rape and sexual harassment; many forms of bullying, including cyberbullying; and carrying weapons in school. School violence has been one of the main concerning issues that is being discussed at the UN as it has become a more serious problem in the recent decade in many countries, especially so in countries which allow their citizens to have guns in their possession.
In this conference discussion, the opinions of the difference delegates were divided. Some delegates such as the delegate of Somalia feels that the issue of school violence is based on the mindset and attitude of the students as well as how effective the teachers were in educating the students. On the other hand, delegates such as the delegate of Switzerland feels that school violence can be reduced if the government of each country is able to control gun violence, considering that majority of the school violence occurs due to many cases of gun violence happening.
Based on recent statistics, the majority of school violence is based on gun violence. This shows that many countries in the world are unable to handle the use of guns in their country, leading to students misusing guns and causing harm to others in the school. The other minority of school violence is cyberbullying, and the attitude of students of the learning environment of the school.
Firstly, the UNESCO conference talked about gun violence as a problem in school violence. Gun violence is defined as violence committed with the use of a gun. In this conference, delegates such as the delegates of Yemen feels that allowing arms that citizens could obtain will lead to the students having protection. This is due to the teachers or even students acquiring arms to protect them for external threats such as terrorism. This will lower the students’ fear of danger in schools. However, delegates such as the delegate of Egypt feel that gun violence is a very serious matter and can result in many long-term impacts. The Egypt delegates feel that the lack of police force and the government not taking measures to have stricter control on arms are causing many serious gun violence to occur. However, delegates such as the delegate of the UK feels that educating the students and the citizens well will reduce the problem drastically. This means that the mindset of the students or the moral values that must be instilled in them is very important, as it could change the way the students think, act and feel. A solution that the delegate of the UK gives is to start off by educating the teachers. This is very critical as teachers interact with students very often and even more than parents. This means that teachers play a very important role in the student’s development and their actions would have a great impact on the student's attitude. Hence training teachers in knowing the right way to teach the student will help play a part in changing the student’s attitude. Another alternative solution given by a delegate is to increase the number of security guards or increase the number of CCTV in the school to prevent cases of gun violence from happening. In addition, the security guards can also perform checks on the student to ensure that they do not have guns in their possession. With these solutions, gun violence will be reduced greatly.
The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, thinks that a better solution would be schools carrying out lockdown drills to increase the existing knowledge in students in the event of gun violence. Through this gun violence, students would be able to gain more knowledge on what to do during gun violence and what should be done to reduce the impact or prevent gun violence from happening. Since most delegates during the conference said that the main issue of countries not taking measures to prevent gun violence from happening is since they are less developed countries (LDC). This means that the solution given will be effective as it can be implemented in LDC countries.
In addition, the impact of gun violence on students will be very devastating. In the conference, a couple of impacts were discussed. The conference discussed that gun violence would lead to many problems and disorder. An account from a girl showed that he suffered trauma and nightmares every night after she survived gun violence from a bully in her school. Even though the bully was captured and jailed, the impact on the girl was left with her for the rest of her life. Furthermore, there could be many problems that would arise from gun violence. A victim of gun violence might lose their life, lose their limb. This shows that gun violence is a dangerous threat and can cause chaos if not dealt with carefully.
Finally, instead of trying to think of a solution to counter the problem, the members of the UN decided that it would be better if a preventive measure was taken instead. An example of a preventive measure is to educate the students. The delegate from Singapore feels that other countries could adopt what Singapore is doing and raise awareness of the importance of safety and positive attitude. This will greatly reduce the number of gun violence cases as students would know the importance of life and through teaching them moral values, students would know what the right behaviour is and what is the wrong behaviour.
In conclusion, gun violence in schools is a pressing issue and should be settled quickly. As the conference concludes, the decision to take further actions on what should be done to mitigate school violence will be voted for. Through this conference, more countries would know the needs of different countries and hopefully vote for an action that would benefit them the most.
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