August 11, 2021

School Violence Prevention – Not as Difficult as You May Think, Part 1

A great many people, especially school administration, management, & parents, won’t want to read, or believe these either. If they do, they will merely say to anyone I/we don’t do those things. Unfortunately, those are the people that probably are the worst offenders and are courting a potentially blood-splattered public relations nightmare. Can we say “It Can’t Happen Here”? The publics denial, are reinforcing the idea that nothing can ever happen in “their” school…”

The administration of any educational institution, are duplicitous in denying the below listed attitudes and the fact that violence could happen. They simply never even consider the possibility of anything occurring, because they are so wrapped up in their own little horrible lives. I’ve heard, that the school district has a plan, so why worry about that crap. We have a school to run, so I have to get to it!”

Some of the biggest offenders are the parents. The reasoning behind that statement, who knows their kids better than a parent, supposedly? Parents ignored both the warning signs & attitudes. “They are my little angel! They’d never do anything like that! He’s such a good boy! He’s a little troubled but nothing violent”… Just because he plays shootem up’s, listens to that violent rap stuff, and loves those R rated gory movies…

But without further ado:

  • CHH (can’t happen here) or Ostrich syndrome. The biggest attitude that causes violence. From the differing reporting systems that say that a fist fight is not violence to teasing a younger/smaller student isn’t bullying.
  • NIH (not invented here). This basically means that the school refuses to do something that they themselves haven’t thought of. Or because it’s too “far out-of-the-box”. Or worse, someone might get into trouble and get disciplined or fired…if they did try it and it fails.
  • Communication. How well does the school communicate with the parents and students? An incident in June 2016 where a student threatened to shoot up a school, Greenbelt, Md. June 14, wasn’t reported to parents until 4 days later. Why, “Because it wasn’t a credible threat”
  • Unequal enforcement of policies/procedures. Some kids deserve to be treated differently and be given special privileges. In my high school years, it was the athletes, smart kids, cheerleaders/pep squad, & etc. along with their significant other of the second, and I’m sure it hasn’t changed that much.
  • Perceived unequal treatment. The key word in here is perceived. Whatever someone perceives to be true then it will be true, whether that truth is reality or not.
  • Authoritarian style of administration- it needs to be strict, but flexible. There is always a reason for someone doing what they do. If you utilize a zero-tolerance policy on everything then you potentially will instigate the violence you thought you could prevent. Toss out the zero tolerance policies, because they are more trouble than.
  • Stereotyping. We all stereotype people and kids are the worst at bullying, teasing, & ignoring those who are slightly different than what is considered normal in school. Anyone who is different, weird, quirky, unique, & maybe a bit crazy in their attitudes are as much to be befriended as the “cool kids”.

Those are for the kids, teachers, & administration, but what about the parents of these children and nearly adults? There are several ways that parental attitudes can get into the violence act as well. And most parents will never realize it, mainly because of having CHH:

  • Not My lil angel
  • Helicopter parenting – They don’t let the kids fail and learn. You can’t protect those lil angels their entire life. Worry about and offer advice when needed but protect…
  • Denial of a problem, akin to not my lil angel
  • Living in a Fantasy World- it has to be different ‘just for my kid because they’re special’. All children are special…but, unless they are physically or mentally disabled…
  • Continual excuses. Well, they are going through a difficult time. The school is racist. The teachers are against them. The school isn’t built right for them. And on and on and on and on.

How many parents do you see or hear who are like this when taking your child to school, at the PTA meetings, or extracurricular activities? If you look long and hard at yourself and others, I’m sure you can see it too. If you’re honest with yourself and use an objective eye. Need help with that? Step out of yourself and view yourself through another’s eyes.

A surprise for everyone, all parents want the best for their kids in school & life. they are our future after all, and are willing to look past some minor imperfections and stand up for them. But sometimes, it blinds us to a larger issue that needs attention. That issue related blindness can, and usually will, cause problems down the road. Whether that blindness causes us to deny anything wrong. Open our eyes to see what the issues are. Then we need to ensure that our kids get to see the counselors, therapists, or whoever to possibly stop… whatever.

It happens to Anyone…Any Time…Any Where… For any Reason
I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear

Permission to share? Of course, with full attribution.

Copyright 2021 Robert D. Sollars

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