- Violence against teachers in all forms remains a serious problem across most of the United States and in other countries too. Bullying is also a national concern for many as this is increasing in several subtle ways.
- Latest research has indicated that extreme school violence is on the decline as students become more accustomed to teaching methods although violence towards teachers has been singularly understudied.
Scholars agree that school violence is a problem which has several different aspects. It is usually related to the community in which one lives and how this lends itself to violence. Teachers often feel threatened in such environments as these may cause problems and issues of communication. (3) Perceived threats are also important as some teachers may feel threatened by violent behavior which does not necessarily manifest itself physically.
There is little data on the subject although one has to note that this is increasing in its intensity as many more cases come to light. Information on the rate and actual scope of teacher victimization is extremely important for the increase of awareness as this may also enable active support and intervention whilst also promoting positive school/classroom climate as well as student learning. (5) The retention of highly qualified teachers in the education profession is also conditional on this issue (Espelage, 2013). Violence can never be condoned and if it comes against teachers it is even more unjustifiable.
- Youths need to be engaged in positive activities and this onus falls upon community leaders and organizers who should ensure that this is the case. Studies have amply demonstrated that when youths are generally respected as contributors to the atmosphere in which they live in then their contribution will be much more positive.
- Adolescents who are actually engaged in the problem solving of matters in their neighborhood will most probably be much more responsible and so will not resort to violence if pushed. (8) School board members and other civic leaders should ensure that they intervene in the engaging of youths in social programmes as this will help them feel part of their society.
- The more youths become engaged in their own surroundings, the more they will be kept away from violence, especially that towards teachers who are seen as their partners. Although it is understandable that certain communities may suffer from different forms of violence and racial abuse which may lead to aggression against teachers, it is important that school leaders receive first-hand information on the situation ‘on the ground’ so to speak to enable them to plan ahead on the integration of the students into mainstream society.
- Leaders should implement programmes that fight against poverty, unemployment and other social class differences. Parent training is also another issue which could reduce school violence.
- Schools should continue to ensure that youths are kept away from vices as much as possible. Another issue which urgently needs to be tackled is the one relating to the use of guns which is still very widespread in the United States. Several recent incidents at schools in states across the US have served as a tragic wake up all for the extremity of violence and what tis can do if left uncontrolled. Statistics have shown that the teachers with the best aptitudes are driven away by violent situations at troubled schools and these will go for quieter environments. School violence needs to be tackled holistically if a solution is eventually to be found.
- With all points of the argument cited, one has to come up with a holistic solution with regards to school violence. Whilst there is evidence to demonstrate that this is basically on the decline, one also has to see how students from troubled backgrounds are more involved in their society. Research has shown that the more younger adolescents are involved in their own community, the less they have time to resort to violence against their teachers at school. Also, teachers should ensure that they remain up to standard regarding the manner in which they deal with students who come from difficult backgrounds as this may mean that these are rubbed the wrong way. Psychological violence may also be an issue and this eventually means that those who suffer from this abuse will turn to other more desperate forms of solace to quench their thirst.
- Pretext: a recent article or story or event that made you think about the topic, 2. Issue: what is the big issue you are addressing? 3. Context: the background; what is the history behind the issue. 4. Other views: what are the sides of the argument? 5. Concession: used to establish objectivity. 6. Turn: the pivot to you expressing what you want to argue. 7. Thesis: (Nut) 8. Argument 1 9. Explanation of quotations 10. Argument 2 11. Argument 3 12. Conclusion and call to action: what to do?
Dorothy Espelage University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Eric M. Anderman The Ohio State University Veda Evanell Brown National Alliance of Black School Educators, Abraham Jones National Education Association Kathleen Lynne Lane University of Kansas, Susan D. McMahon DePaul University, Linda A. Reddy Rutgers University, Cecil R. Reynolds Texas A&M University; Understanding and Preventing Violence Directed Against Teachers, Recommendations for a National Research, Practice, and Policy Agenda; Feb/March 2013, The American Psychologist 2013, Print