What has caused the rapid increase of violence over the years?


Violence has increased exponentially in schools over the years. (photo courtesy of EdWeek)

In recent years, there has been an excessive level of violence, which is well-known in schools no matter if it’s an elementary, middle, or high school. There has been more evidence of firearms, physical, and psychological violence against kids, teachers, and staff. 

There has been a rise in gun violence in schools, as evidenced by studies conducted at numerous schools. Additionally, both Suitland High School and Duval High School recently learned that a student brought a firearm to school. 

In February, at Michigan State University, another school shooting left three individuals dead and five more injured. That same month, Parkdale High school experienced a threat that caused the school to shut down for approximately 30 minutes beyond the final dismissal bell. 

Several people think that the COVID-19 quarantine is to blame. Children who have not been in school for nearly two years are unable to distinguish between school and the outside world. Some think it’s difficult for people to shake that mindset. So what do they think the root of it is?

Some would argue that parents have played a part in children’s actions, while others disagree whether that is true or not. 

According to the article, “What Do the Data Reveal About Violence in Schools?” by Nadine Frederique “Bullying can be verbal (being threatened, called names, or insulted) and physical (being pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on).” said Nadine Frederique. “Bullying may occur in various ways, including in person and virtually through social media. We know that some school shooters felt bullied, victimized, persecuted, or injured by others prior to their attacks.” 

This data allows for people to discover the shooter’s motives. Which shows why people have ulterior motives to cause any physical and psychological harm to others. But what about the psychological destruction these motives cause to victims?

“I think most of the part is from COVID a lot of people were isolated not because people wanted to be but because people were forced to be,” said Officer Washington, Parkdale’s School Resource Officer. “I think that may contribute to some of the mental things that may be going on.”

According to the article, “Physical, psychological and social impact of school violence on children” studies show that “physical violence perpetrated at school but it can have a physical impact, causing psychological distress, permanent physical disability and long-term physical or mental ill-health.” It’s often said, “Children who experienced any type of violence at school may develop reactive attachment disorder, modest physical inactivity, overweight or obesity, diabetes, smoking habits, heavy alcohol use, poor self-rated health, cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease and other negative outcomes.” 

Many kids and parents are wondering if there are any ways they could protect themselves from these long-term effects. 

“Part of the issue is parent involvement. I believe that a lot of parents are working. Not all parents but some parents have no idea what their children are involved in,” Officer Washington stated. “They might need to check in on them and ensure they are doing what they are supposed to do. Law enforcement can only do so much the way that the juvenile justice system is set up in Maryland; it is set up for the parents to parent.” 

Although it is important for students to have a secure home environment, some feel it is also up to the school building and its leaders to do what needs to be done while students are here.

“I do think it’s possible for security and admin to come up with concrete methods and products to keep us students safe from any more issues with guns,” said junior Deborah Rosario. “I think it’s just all up to them and the approach they take on the situation which in past events has been proven to not be effective.  I still do think they can come up with something to keep us safe if they put the time and effort and not just come up with a solution to say “problem solved” if not to actually solve the problem.” 

Unfortunately, violence in schools is a typical occurrence in the U.S.  So common in fact, many students are descentized from these types of situations. 

“I feel like the fact we have normalized gun violence and school shootings in America is truly disgusting,” said Rosario. “Things like this don’t occur as much in my country which is considered a third world country that can be labeled as ‘unsafe’ as they do in America which is considered ‘safe’.” 

How can we as a country let hundreds of literal children and their teachers get their lives taken away by someone with a gun, and normalize it?  The fact we make jokes about school shootings is not okay because anywhere else a school shooting is a rare occurrence but in this country we see things of the sort on the news often.`