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Stop School Shootings: What can Teachers, Students, and Parents do?

Oct 20, 2007
Have you ever noticed that the same stories are told in the aftermath about the most recent school shooters? They were all rejected by members of their community, by peers at school, or by their family at home. I can't help to wonder if this was a factor in their ultimate decision to lash out and what others could have done to prevent it.

What can teachers do?

Without a doubt, one of the most difficult professions is that of teaching America's kids. Today's teachers are facing extended work hours, including taking work home, more aggressive students, and federal and state standards to complete each year. Adding that to being unpaid can lead to many teachers burning out at a faster rate.

Despite all the obstacles and hardship faced by teachers, I believe they should play an active role in ensuring the well-being of every student they come in contact with. Many students, in the presence of teachers, are bullied and teased in the classroom. A classroom environment should be inviting and open to learning and positive interaction.

Teachers should have zero tolerance toward bullying and teasing in the classroom and on school grounds. A teacher simply taking control of his/her classroom can turn a normally bad day into a not so bad day for a student facing daily harassment.

What can students do?

When asked to describe the personality of a school shooter, in most cases, fellow classmates uses words like antisocial, withdrawn, or creepy. With the exception of the few people who are antisocial by choice, many students who are given this description would very much like to have friends and be apart of a social group in school.

But without the right shoes, clothing, or hairstyle, some students are often times bullied and teased by others. Overtime, a feeling of resentment and angry then develops.

Boosting a fellow classmate's self-esteem can be as easy as showing a little interest in getting to know them. The fact is, many students would, without the presence of peer pressure, approach and befriend these students.

But recognizing the risk of also being rejected, many students keep there distance and join the majority. Overlooking peer pressure and taking someone else's feelings into consideration may be essential to derailing that student from a path of destruction.

What can parents do?

Parents should pay close attention to their child's mood and behavior changes. Too often parents are justifying behavior problems as being a norm. It is very important for parents to establish an open relationship with their son/daughter from early childhood.

Needless to say, getting a teenager to open with you can seem impossible, especially if that type of relationship is nonexistent. But with a little persistence and love, the results of having an open line of communication with your teen can give you a head start in getting help at the first sign of trouble.

The safety of America's schools is everybody's responsibility.
About the Author
Jimmy Walker is the founder of CitePlanet.com . Find thousands of quality citations from books, periodicals, and electronic sources. Post samples of your work on CitePlanet!
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