School violence is increasing day by day. There are many cases being reported where students go on a rampage shooting anyone and everyone in their access and ultimately in many cases end their own lives. What does this mean and what are they are trying to convey through this? It surely says that these students are going through a very low and depressive phase, feel alone and sad and maybe, they wish to convey this to others who are not attending to their sad plight and hence resort to such aggression to make their point.
So, where lies the solution? Yes, we can build strong and high fences around the school, put up metal detectors and hidden cameras at various places, hand-check each student on entry and various other things. But do you think that would be enough to solve the issue? Would we be tackling the roots or working on the peripherals? Doing all this might reduce gun violence but cannot stop it.
To stop it, we need to understand the students, their inner problems and conflicts and help them in learning the way to cope with all these issues so that bloom into good and peaceful human beings. For this, we have to all work together. All the teachers, students, other staff members and parents will have to do their bit.
Parents need to be good friends of their children and give them enough time to understand them, their inner feelings and gauge that all is well. Any signs of unrest or resentment within can be a warning signal. Parents should never argue in front of their kids. They are their children’s role models and need to set good examples of bonding, togetherness and love.
At school, teachers are the parents of the children. If any child is going through a low phase, shows signs of aggressive behaviour, or stays too aloof, any of his co-students or teachers can immediately sense it and the problem must be addressed immediately. Talk with the student and understand whether all is well within. There are all kinds of students who come to school. There are children who come from homes where fights and abuses are common, children who do not have parents or live with a single parent and those who have always carried low confidence and self-esteem.
There should be regular counselling sessions where children can address their inner conflicts be it regarding their personal lives or school related issues and speak and discuss openly so that they can vent out their feelings. If a student doesn’t speak openly, a teacher can sit with him separately and talk to him and encourage him to involve himself with others. Students should be made understood the necessity of love, humility and bonding with others. Anger management workshops should be conducted to teach the students to deal with their inner aggression.
When a student is spiralling down and going to resort to serious aggression or gun violence, there will be few close friends who will know of his intentions. They must immediately bring the matter into the eyes of the authorities before the matter goes out of hands.
If early signs of depression and loneliness can be detected in children and tackled effectively, then we can gradually bring down instances where their inner conflicts blow up in the form of higher forms of aggression like gun violence.