WHY BULLIED TEENS MAY CARRY WEAPONS TO SCHOOL
Any parent’s worst dread is sending their child to school with a classmate who may have a weapon. Research conducted during the 2015-2016 school year found that that scenario occurred more than once a day in the United States. On a minimum of 269 occasions, children of all grade levels were found in possession of weapons at school.
According to CDC research, approximately 3 million of the country’s 55 million schoolchildren (or 5.4 percent) had brought weapons to schools, such as guns, knives, or clubs. This figure can vary significantly in large urban school systems. There were 7.5% of kids in Washington D.C. who reported bringing a gun to school. In comparison, the number was only 2.3% in New York City, as the National Association of School Psychologists reported.
Why Do Children Carry Weapons to School?
A student may bring a firearm or other weapon to school for a variety of reasons. Some students bring these objects to school to show off to their peers, while others do so in preparation for a fight or as a form of self-defense.
They carried their guns to school with them from home. Over one-third of American households with children under the age of 18 have a firearm. Parents in several states are not required by law to keep weapons away from their children.
In addition, children are unable to comprehend the dangers of taking a gun to school, such as the possibility of being expelled, arrested, or injuring someone else. It is now possible to see how guns end up in schools.
Another reason why children carry firearms is because of domestic violence and school bullying. JAMA Pediatrics reports that more than 10% of children with military parents have taken guns to school at some point in their lives. According to the study’s authors, armed military children are more likely to carry firearms to school because their lives are more unstable due to frequent movements or having parents deployed.
Bullying has a far greater impact on a person’s decision to carry a firearm than most adults believe. If you’ve ever been bullied, you’re more likely to carry a weapon to school, according to a recent study.
Research has shown that three factors increase the likelihood of carrying a firearm. Fighting in class, being threatened or wounded in class, and leaving class because of safety concerns were all on the list. Nearly half of the students who went through all three situations had a weapon with them to school. There was no higher risk of carrying a weapon for children who were bullied but not in fear for their physical safety.
Students who left school because they worried for their safety were three times more likely than those who had not been bullied into carrying weapons. More than five times as many students who had fights at school carried a weapon, and nearly six times as many teenagers had been threatened or injured held a weapon.
The disturbing number of students carrying guns on school property indicates that school campuses are still not the optimal, safe learning settings we desire for our youth.
Focus on Bullying
Bullying is closely linked to carrying a weapon to school. Therefore parents and educators should watch for signs of it. So that bullying doesn’t grow to the point that students feel helpless and frightened at school, they need to confront the issue of bullying. Educators and parents can use these strategies to combat bullying in the school setting.
Protect Those Who Have Been Hurt
Your school’s personnel should look for bullying in the halls, cafeteria, locker rooms, and bathrooms. To avoid future bullying at your school, you must have an adult in every one of its hot zones.
Having to deal with bullying regularly is made more difficult if students have a more difficult time doing it at school. The goal is to develop bullying prevention methods that work so that the bulk of your time is spent teaching and not correcting bullying behaviors.
Deal with Bullying Issues Right Away
Showing victims and onlookers that your school does not allow bullying is easier when you respond quickly to stop it. Bullies and potential bullies will know their school will take action if they report bullying. Bullying can be deterred if there are consequences for it at school.
When schools don’t hold kids accountable for their actions, it merely encourages bullies to take larger risks and target more pupils. If you notice any indicators of bullying in your school, do everything you can to stop it from happening.
Give the Victim Access to the Means of Support
Have a list of resources for victims of bullying on hand at all times. When a bullying incident occurs, you will save time and effort. Students and their parents would appreciate the suggestions and resources you may offer. If possible, printouts or a list of useful websites should be provided to the victims and their family.
Have a list of community resources on hand so that they can seek additional assistance if necessary. Making sure that families are on the correct path will decrease the impact of bullying and help them heal from the trauma they’ve endured.
Take the Bully on a Private Talk.
Let bullies know that their bullying behavior will not be tolerated and that if there is any indication that this was not a one-off incident, they will face extra consequences when you sit down with them to discuss the situation. When confronting bullies in public, keep in mind that it could prompt them to lash out at the victim again.
Alternatively, they may have been looking for this type of attention for a long time. Avoid giving bullies too much attention or making them seem more credible to your peers. Instead, take them aside and have a quiet discussion with them.
Put a Stop to Bullying by Enforcing Discipline
When it comes to bullying, there should be no tolerance. There are a number of situations where taking away kids’ access to technology at school for a fixed length of time might be the most appropriate response to cyberbullying.
You must make sure that your disciplinary methods are strong enough so that children will not repeat the behavior for fear of more severe repercussions the following time. In the meantime, a lack of punitive measures encourages bullies to engage in the same behavior.
Monitor the Situation Continually
Bullying can be prevented from occurring in the future if it is detected early enough. However, you shouldn’t jump to this conclusion. Monitor the bully’s behavior and if required, continue to reprimand him. Make sure to keep tabs on the victims as well. Make sure they’re adapting and recuperating well before you leave.
Additional work is needed if bullies continue to have an unresolved attitude or lack accountability for their actions. If you put in the work, it will pay off in the long term to deal with the issue of bullying.
To be a good teacher, you must do everything possible to stop workplace bullying. When pupils are afraid of being the next victim of bullying, the learning environment and their ability to focus on learning are harmed.
Early in the school year, make it clear that bullying is not tolerated. Taking action against bullying will impact your students’ lives more than simply ignoring it. In addition, your efforts could help prevent students from bringing weapons into your building.