School Violence Has Become an Increasingly Important Essay

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School violence has become an increasingly important focus of study in recent years, precisely because of its apparently increasing prevalence in the United States today. Violence perpetrated by young children against other young children has never taken the epidemic levels it does today. Many scholars have made the central quest of their research to determine why this is the case and secondarily, how to prevent this phenomenon. And indeed, the statistics are upsetting. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2012), there have been 116 student deaths in 109 separate incidents of school violence during the past seven years. This translates to an average 16.5 student homicides per year. In order to deal with this terrible phenomenon, the CDC suggests that the first step is to define the problem. As such, the CDC (2012) defines school violence as "youth violence that occurs on school property, on the way to or from school or school-sponsored events, or during a school-sponsored event." There are also several factors that can place some students at greater risk of violence than others. Some students have a prior history of violence, for example, which increases the risk that they might become perpetrators of violence in their schools. Other factors include substance abuse, association with delinquent peers, poverty, and poor family functioning. Schechter takes this a step further by referring to a study of babies and the factors that play a role in their development of violent tendencies when they become adolescents. One of these include childhood exposure to abuse and violence in the home, as well as parental substance abuse. Furthermore, many authors have focused not only on studying the problem of school violence, but also the strategies that can be applied towards preventing this state of affairs. Among these are Astor, Benbenishty, and Estrada, who present their findings in the article "School Violence and Theoretically Atypical Schools: The Principal's Centrality in Orchestrating
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Safe Schools." The article presents a thorough analysis of the problem along with suggestions for strategies to prevent the phenomenon.

The introduction to the article provides a thorough overview of the authors' purpose with the article, which is to investigate additional dimensions besides the assumption that violence in schools tend to be a reflection of the communities and demographic within which they function. The authors' central claim is that school violence does not necessarily correlate with the violence level in the surrounding community. Indeed, the authors cite studies to suggest that there appears to be widely varying levels of violence even in schools within similar communities and with similar demographies. Indeed, their study focus on what they refer to as "theoretically atypical schools," which are those where violence levels are at the extreme opposite to what might have been predicted based upon community violence levels.

The introduction is followed by a section with the title "Understanding Multiple Aspects of School Violence." Here, the authors make a thorough investigation of the existing literature on the topic. They include a consideration of culture, school organization, and other factors as influencing school violence levels. While not so labeled, it is clear that this section represents the literature study of the document.

The rest of the article follows a more or less typical structure for a research paper, starting with the methods used for the investigation. The authors use a two-phased, mixed-methods approach to conduct their study for the paper. The first phase followed a quantitative method of gathering data from schools, while the second phase was an in-depth qualitative investigation.

The population sample investigated was taken from Israeli schools, which is relevant for the type of study, since this region is known for its general instability and violence in communities. The nationally representative stratified sample included 15,646 participants, of whom 5,795 were from primary schools, 6,550 from middle schools, and 3,301 from high schools. This amount of participants ensures a high level of validity and reliability in…

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References

Astor, R.A., Benbenishty, R., and Estrada, J.N. (2009). School Violence and Theoretically Atypical Schools: The Principal's Centrality in Orchestrating Safe Schools. American Educational Research Association. Retrieved from: http://buildingcapacity.usc.edu/AERJASTORBENBENESTRADA515%5B1%5D.pdf

Center for Disease Control (CDC). (2012). Understanding school violence. Retrieved January 29, 2013, from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/schoolviolence_factsheet-a.pdf

Center for Disease Control (CDC). (2012). School-associated student homicides. Retrieved January 29, 2013, from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5702a1.htm

Schechter DS (2011, February 16). Forecasting Aggression: What Makes Some Troubled Youth Turn Violent? Cerebrum. Retrieved January 29, 2013, from http://www.dana.org/news/cerebrum/detail.aspx?id=30762

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