SAFER SCHOOLS NEWS-VOL. 157
School and Community Violence up Sharply!!
Is this a tread and a view of things to come?
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – First Coast High School students and parents are concerned about rumors that someone is planning a shooting on their campus. The concern comes from increased violence connected to Jacksonville, FL schools and the newest piece coming from a threat made on social media. Social media posts indicate that there will be a gang-initiation shooting at the school before it lets out for the summer.
Click to enlarge picture reflecting the Top 10 most violent Florida Schools for 2013-2014, which Jacksonville is number 10.
Aside from the Dawnridge shooting, the Jacksonville school district has seen six multiple shootings in the past few weeks, with 15 victims, including 3 deaths. Also, last month a fight involving four girls left one student with a concussion. One of the six shootings involved someone shooting and killed Johnnel Johnson and injured a second person at an after-prom party. Then on May 15, a student was shot and killed and another teenager was injured at a gathering at Sheffield Park on the Northside. Both were First Coast High School football players, and police have not made arrests or named suspects in either case. Another violent clash involved a teen shooting at a school bus, when that bus drove off not allowing the teens to board it. Two girls on the bus were hit by this random shot and were hospitalized over that incident.
CHICAGO, ILL – In Chicago Public Schools the total number of students shot, off campus, is up sharply, according to figures from Chicago officials. The overall shooting toll — 319 — was the highest in four years and a nearly 22 percent increase from the previous 2014 school year. Statistic show a share rise in Community and School Violence, as well.
Why are we seeing an increase in Violence?
One teacher said, teaching is different from what it used to be. How, you wonder?
Fifty years ago, the main disciplinary problems at school were running in halls, talking out of turn, and chewing gum. Today’s transgressions include severe bullying, physical and verbal violence, rude or unsociable speech or behavior, and in some schools; drug abuse, robbery, assault, suicides and murder. The result is that many teachers spend an inordinate amount of time and energy managing classroom conflicts. The number of teachers who say they’ve been physically attacked by students is at a all time high!
Today, student are more isolated from parents, extended family members, and other adults than ever before. Today parents’ workplace is further away from home – where the kids are, so children do not see most working parent. Divorce, single parent homes, abuse, poverty, racial tension, gangs, drugs, and other forces that interfere with healthy parenting disrupt many families. So when our kids are isolated, separated, and abused – the outcome is a lack of socialization. The family, neighborhood, and community dynamics that once were involved in socializing young people into the norms of society are often none existent. No one is teaching our kids how to manage conflicts constructively through example or through indirect methods, such as moral codes and patterns of living.
School Violence is on the Raise – possibly due to one or all of these factors:
- Class sizes continue to go up, reducing the chance of students making a personal connection with teachers, and making it more difficult for teachers to control a class. Learn more about – The Empower-U Program: ALE/ALC Model Approach
- Teachers are constantly attacked and disrespected in the media, in comments made by parents and other adults, thereby eroding their authority over the young people they work with. Administrators often reinforce this disrespect in their interactions with teachers during observations, and even during routine conversations. Why should we expect students to respect the objects of such universal contempt? Learn more
- With budget cuts, there has been a sharp decline in support personnel like school counselors and school psychologists, to whom young people in trouble can be referred when teachers see them in pain, or on the verge of exploding. Research clearly demonstrates that student problems are best dealt with in small-group settings as opposed to overcrowded stress-filled classrooms.
Student Gang involvement and the emergences of ISIS radicalizing our youth is on the rises. In numerous surveys, gang members were asked to give reasons why they joined gangs.The top three repeatedly over and over show up as the most important ones to those involved in gangs. Student reported seeking these three things and the only place they felt they could get these was from gangs. These three reasons were:
- wanting to be loved,
- to have a sense of belonging or connection, and
- discipline. This discipline or guidance lead them to believe that those in the gang cared about them and loved them.
- The same deteriorating economy that compromises students’ futures affects their present lives. More and more families are forced to live in larger family groups and take in boarders; others are going through periods of homelessness or moving from place to place as their economic prospects dim. Many of these living situations are stressful, some are abusive. More and more students, even those from once middle-class families bring incredible stress to school at a time when schools offer reduced services to help them to survive and to thrive.
- Since October 2013, well over 50,000 “unaccompanied children” from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have crossed America’s porous southern border have entered our schools. Most dealing with serve mental and behavioral issues brought from their countries of origin. Also, many schools have little or no information about these students.
- Lastly, an increase is racial tension and anger connected to that belief of a racial divide, fueled by recent events in the news. After high profile cases in the media on race – we have seen a two decade drop in violence come to a screeching halt. New statistics now show the following for the last 6 months of 2014 and into 2015:
- In St. Louis alone, shootings are up by 39 percent, robberies by 43 percent, and homicides by 25 percent. St. Louis is not the only city seeing increases.
- According to Baltimore officials, gun violence in that city is up by more than 60 percent over last year, with 32 shootings occurring over Memorial Day weekend 2015 alone, making May the most violent month the city has experienced in the past 15 years.
- Homicides were up by 180 percent in Milwaukee by May 17, over the same period from last year.
- In Atlanta, murders went up by 32 percent by mid-May.
- In Chicago, homicides went up by 17 percent and shootings by 24 percent.
- New York marked a murder rate rise of nearly 13 percent and gun violence by 7 percent,
- Violent felonies in Los Angeles went up by 25 percent.
Tools and Programs to Teen Violence: (learn more)
- Managing Anger & Bullying: Anger Management/De-escalation Training & Bullying Stops when Respect Begins
- How to determine – If my School is unsafe? And – Making Connections
- Keys’ FREE “Knowledge Base Center” – Anger Management/De-escalation Knowledge Base
- Keys’ “eBook On-Demand” – Conflict Resolution, Anger Management and Bullying Stops
- See Assessing Dangerousness in Adults & Assessing the Potentially Dangerous Student
- Learn more about our Subject Matter Experts