Preventing & Coping with Violence in Schools

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We live in a world filled with distraction. Everyone is bogged down with endless things to occupy their attention – school, work, entertainment, social media, hobbies, etc. Notice anything missing from the list?


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Make family your priority.  Family isn’t just a group of people we happen to be related to by blood or marriage.  Family is or at least should be our primary source of comfort, happiness, discipline, reasoning and companionship.  Parents and guardians have the weighty responsibility of not only providing shelter, food and clothing but also of love, safety and guidance.  You are the first best defense for your children when it comes to negative influences, thoughts and behaviors.  As I’ve mentioned on this blog before discipline isn’t to be reserved for when a situation is already out of hand. Sometimes discipline is noticing where something could go wrong and gently drawing out and helping to reason with and adjust the thinking of a child or family member who is straying down a dangerous path.

Granted it’s not always easy to stay close to your kids, but if you start early talking to them about everything and do it often.  No, you don’t have to be the Gestapo, but if you start early setting a rapport with your kids they will be willing to share anything and everything with you.  If you allow them to open up to you without flipping out about every little thing and learn the way your children think you have a better chance of being able to spot a potential problem.  Learning to draw them out and reason with them rationally will help create a lasting bond and hopefully lay a strong foundation of trust and convince them they are cared for despite what is going on in the world around them.


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Do you think the Bible is relevant in today’s society? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

As I’ve asked people this question over the years I’ve gotten varying responses.  Check out this scripture from 2 Timothy 3:16,17 – “16  All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight,*for disciplining in righteousness, 17  so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.” Personally, I believe that Jehovah God is the originator of the family arrangement and He longs to see every family be successful.  Family is key to maintaining peace, safety and most of all love for each of us and in the world as a whole.  

The Bible addresses every member of the family individually. It teaches us how to deal peaceably with each other. See these scriptures from Colossians 3:20, 21, ” 20  You children, be obedient to your parents in everything, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21  You fathers, do not be exasperating* your children, so that they do not become downhearted.” Despite popular opinion, leaving children and teens to their own devices is a recipe for disaster.  As a parent you may see letting your children be as a way of showing them respect or trust, but children, even teenagers, long for the interest and guidance of their parents.  There is nothing more downheartening than feeling like no one cares what you do. 

Scientists have studied youth from pre-teen into young adulthood (12-25) and discovered that this period, which the Bible describes as the “bloom of youth”, the entire brain is technically being rewired.  Your children are learning who they are and who they are supposed to be amidst a barrage of new ideas, hormonal changes and other confused youth trying to find their own way.  Yes, they may look almost grown, but it is during these years when our children need us more than ever.  

It is more common during these years drastic physical and emotional change that individuals may want to isolate themselves.  As parents, friends and caretakers we need to be aware of this trend and do what we can to prevent it.  Why? Proverbs 18:1 says, “Whoever isolates himself pursues his own selfish desires;He rejects all practical wisdom.”  There is nothing wrong with wanting to be alone from time to time as it is good to meditate on your thoughts and plans, but when it becomes constant where nothing and no one else matters a person is headed down a detrimental way.

These are just a few small ways where the Bible is practical in family life.  It can also help us to be kinder, gentler people outside the family unit.

If the Bible was inspired by the God who created all things and he wants us to be successful – do you believe the Bible can also be scientifically accurate?

Why is this discussion relevant in this day and age? Unfortunately, we live in a world that is ruled by selfish desire and lacking in brotherly love.  I was appalled to learn that up to last week there were 18 school shootings in the United States this year already.  Locally, we had a copycat threat on two school districts.  It does make me nervous to send my girls to school every day.  People are “fierce, without love of goodness,. . .  headstrong” just like the Bible predicted (2 Timothy 3:1-5).  Parents like me fear the possibility of our children becoming victim to similar wanton violence.  What can be done?

This is what one study suggests –

One third of parents believe their local high school will suffer a shooting incident in the next three years, but few know of effective countermeasures to stop such violence from happening, says a new study from Ball State University.

Parents’ Expectations of High Schools in Firearm Violence Prevention, a multi-university survey of 257 Midwestern parents, found that about 36 percent of respondents believed their local high school was ‘highly likely’ to have a gun incident in the next three years.

“Gun violence is a major issue among parents, who often have a limited grasp of potentially effective interventions to reduce such events,” said Jagdish Khubchandani, an associate professor of health science at Ball State University. Khubchandani authored the study with faculty from the University of Toledo and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It was recently published in The Journal of Community Health.

“Some parents are quick to blame others for a shooting because they have no idea how to stop such incidents from happening,” Khubchandani added. “In fact, the study suggests that most parents have a limited knowledge of what works and what doesn’t in preventing these incidents.”

Khubchandani doesn’t fault parents for this lack of knowledge.

“The research regarding specific interventions schools should undertake to best reduce their risks of firearm violence occurring at school (or at school events) is non-existent,” the Journal study points out.

This lack of research is “due to how rare these firearm violence events are in schools,” Khubchandani explained.

Studies show that a total of 2,787 recorded firearm deaths occurred in 2015 among Americans younger than 19 years old, with 95 percent of homicides and suicides that year occurring off school grounds.

Yet school shootings are often highly publicized, creating incorrect perceptions of firearm risks in schools among both parents and school administrators — misperceptions “that can result in ineffective policies and action,” Khubchandani said.

 The study also found that parents perceived inadequate parental monitoring/rearing practices; peer harassment and/or bullying; inadequate mental health care services for youth and easy access to guns as major causes of firearm violence in schools.

 Parents believed the following school policies were most effective in reducing firearm violence: installing an alert system in schools; working with law enforcement to design an emergency response plan; creating a comprehensive security plan; requiring criminal background checks for all school personnel prior to hiring; and implementing an anonymous system for students to report peer concerns regarding potential violence.

 Common school practices such as random searches of backpacks or lockers and/or installation of metal detectors or bullet-proof glass were viewed by parents as less effective policies for reducing school firearm violence, the study found.

 Parents also were less supportive of having trained school personnel carrying firearms.

 “Our study also indicated the majority of parents are dissatisfied with many of the systems schools currently have in place to counteract gun violence,” Khubchandani said. “It’s a strong indicator that parents want a greater say in how their local schools are addressing the issue.”

 The study should be used to assist school administrators in providing more of the kinds of school policies parents want to see in place to prevent this kind of violence, he said.

Do you believe this is an effective solution?

Disclaimer: The opinions shared above the study are my own.  By sharing the thoughts of Professor Khubchandani I am neither advocating nor criticizing his methods. They are merely being shared for editorial purposes.  Each person must reach their own decision.

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