Violence in High Schools in the United States

Posted May 22, 2013 Avatar Voices of Youth

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Member since June 5, 2013
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Harry S. Truman High School, VOY Connect classroom in the Bronx, New York, USA.

Harry S. Truman High School, VOY Connect classroom in the Bronx, New York, USA.

Unlike various countries in Africa, the United States hasn’t really suffered any civil war in the last century. Given our technological efficiencies, and social services, there is no reason for this country to be considered unsafe. In many countries in Africa, one of the many general fears is a potential rape that could occur at any second of a woman’s life, often schools are looked upon as a safe haven. Although the United States is supposed to be “safe” many young people here have the nagging fear of possibly losing their lives every day, both in their neighbourhoods and their schools.

Although education is a luxury in many nations, in the U.S. it is compulsory and free. However, where educational institutions are considered to be a safe place in other nations, focusing on academics, many of our schools have been plagued with drugs, gangs, and an excessive level of violence across schools and communities.

African countries have faced the evils of dictatorship and genocide, and have learned to reach out to one another to heal. School fights between students are a rarity. Although we have systems in place to reduce school violence, such as security, police and mediation, violence in schools still exist.

People wouldn’t start altercations without a pretence being known; it could be an argument, or a simple concept of a student having a bad morning, albeit inexcusable. It could be cliché, but people would voluntarily put themselves in harm’s way as a way of vying for attention and respect. Fear and the ideology of respect has confused young people, where they do not find it necessary earn respect as it should be. There can be the occasional provocation; students would find trifling ways to start fights, discrimination, and taunting are among the two most common reasons.

Gang violence has had resurgence in recent years, fighting for territory they do not own. Many students join gangs as a way to feel protected in their communities and schools. In addition, many of the in school fights are girls fighting girls, often over boys.

Fights in school can get out of control and can continue out of the school and become a lot more dangerous because there is now no one to stop them. Inside the school you have officers that can stop the altercation quickly, but outside the school the response is a lot slower because police officers are not around as much and they have to be called or flagged down.

All of these fights that go on in school are now started over the website Facebook, These conflicts, which could be settled over a simple mediation, instead become exaggerated. People choose to take matters into their own hands and not think about consequences. We assume in Africa, fighting or arguing is the last choice or last thought that would be on a student’s mind but in the US, kids walk around hallways of some schools with fear of being harmed in one or more ways. Unlike other countries, individual respect supersedes respect for education.




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