By Manfred Tan, Wall Street Journal
Published: 18 Mar 2019 - 06:58 AM
The UNESCO will be discussing the issue of “Mitigating school violence to ensure safety in school premises”, a pressing issue which could change the lives of many children in many different countries and could also change the education system of countries such as the United States of America.
School violence is defined as any activity that can create a disturbance in an educational system. It includes verbal and physical altercations. It is also bullying through electronic means or social media, threats, weapon use, or gang activity. School violence is a major issue of concern as it threatens the physical and mental wellbeing of students and staff.
A research carried out by the Centre for Disease Control revealed that 6% of students carried a weapon, 8% of students had been in a physical fight, 9% of students did not go to school out of fear for their safety, and 7% of teachers report being threatened with injury or physically attacked by a student from their school. This research is alarming and warns us of the potential danger of students and staff. However, the problem lies with prevention, as more than not, students with internalising problems are often overlooked by school personnel. Internalising behaviour has been a major issue of concern as these students are introverts and seldom express their emotions, allowing their emotions to build and transit into negative behaviours. These negative behaviours include fearfulness, social withdrawal and somatic complaints, which depletes their courage to have social interaction, causing them to shut off and be excluded from society.
As such, cyber abuse may be causing countries to face problems regarding students with internalizing behavior. Cyber abuse is defined as a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means. The Ohio State researchers found that high school students who had more exposure to violent video games held "more pro-violent attitudes, had more hostile personalities, were less forgiving, believed violence to be more normal, and behaved more aggressively in their everyday lives." While technology largely increases convenience to our lives, the impact of technology on students cannot be ignored. Furthermore, Technology also provides an anonymous online platform, causing students to feel that they have nothing to lose and hence further fuelling their desires to be perpetrators of such abuse. While we enjoy the benefits technology brings to aid us in our learning, it is important to place more emphasis on regulation to ensure that the impact of Technology becomes less of a double-edged sword.
In conclusion, this shows problems that countries may face when they are trying to mitigate school violence. Despite the efforts made by many countries in the world to reduce the impacts of school violence, many recent researches conducted shows that the problem still exists.
Violence at schools