The shootings in schools recently have been designated as an epidemic that is plaguing the government of United States. The schools have the obligation of keeping their milieus harmless while not impeding the constitutional fortifications guaranteed to the learners. In the support of schools and states interests in a harmless environment, there was an enactment of the 1994 act of Gun-Free Schools. The act makes distribution of the federal resources to the states dependent on the states enacting the law that expels the students who do bring the weapons to the college for a period of one year. Many schools conduct searches on students, implemented metal detectors, seizures of the students and their property, enacted the dress codes and have stricter discipline generally to prevent the schools from engulfing in violence, (Duplechain, Rosalind and Robert). These additional school regulations and the act of 1994 on Gun-Free Schools is a great start, but they have done little to avert the impending danger in the schools concerning the usage of the weapons and mass shootings in colleges. The paper, therefore, seeks to illustrate the factors that push the students to commit school shootings and the appropriate strategies which the administrators of the schools need to embrace to curb the vice.
In the case of the occurrence of any mass shootings in the United States, the most frequent question that lingers in the peoples minds is why or how could the perpetrator commit such criminality. Most people find it understandably difficult to comprehend the reasons that could necessitate an individual to pick a gun and kill multiple people within an instance. To understand the phenomenon like rampage school shootings, the factors that lead to their occurrence and pervasiveness ought to be explored.
According to Duplechain, Rosalind and Robert, there are five different categories of school shootings; terroristic shooting, government shooting, rampage school shooting and mass shooting. All these different types of school shootings only share one characteristic which is that they all take place within the school premises or in the events that are sponsored by the schools.
In the year 2012, facts that relate to school violence and shootings among the youths in grade nine through twelve were released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The statistics indicated that 5.4% of the students reported having knife or gun, or the club on the school property in more than one day in the 30 that preceded the survey. Moreover, in the years 2009-2010, there was an occurrence of 17 homicides of the school age youths between ages 5 to 18 (Phipps).
More recently, Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old went on a shooting rampage on the 14 of December 2012 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School thereby killing six educators and 20 first-grade children. Sandy Hook Elementary routinely practiced safety drills and lockdown procedures but unfortunately, not even the practice could prepare the teachers and the children for the horrific events that occurred on that day (Herbert, Scheithauer and Bondu). The event alone surpassed the 2009-2010 number of the students killed in schools nationwide demonstrating that a single shooting event could claim many innocent lives and have gigantic consequences (Phipps).
It is imperative that schools do everything within their capacity to identify the students who pose dangers to others within the school vicinity and eradicate the threats before the student intentions become an actuality (Herbert, Scheithauer and Bondu). While the school shootings are a rare occurrence, they involve more and more victims per an incident and are always a constant concern amongst the teachers, staff, administrators, and students.
Even though no method is foolproof in identifying the potential school shooters and alleviating the school shootings, the teachers, school administrators and the students need to maintain a keen eye for the signs of potential future violence by the students. The schools need also to increase the number of the resource officers within the school milieu and also enact a threat assessment strategy to address the mental health concerns. The parents and the relatives also need to limit the access of the weapons to the students as this will go a long way in preventing school shootings (Evans et al.).
While painting and profiling a picture a certain student who is likely to carry out the attacks in their classmates and school is quite problematic and may in many instances dangerously omit some from the sight of the teachers, administrators, and students, doing so is extremely imperative to the process of upholding the safety of the schools. In most cases, the shootings in schools involve male perpetrators. The testimony that was tabled on the committee of the judiciary subsequently to the Columbine School shooting noted that the typical school shooters are habitually isolated and lonely, highly subtle to bullying and teasing and indignant over professed injustices (Duplechain, Rosalind and Robert).
The studies indicate that aggressive behavior and peer rejection are related, and once such aggression in the student arises, it increases over time. The targets of bullying recognize that the culprits do not like, accept or value them and more so feel public disgraces as the acts of maltreatment does occur in the presence of others. Research conducted on 15 instances of school violence between 1995 to 2001 yielded fascinating results. The research concluded that in at least twelve out of the fifteen cases analyzed, the shooter had been subjugated to the ongoing malicious bullying or teasing and in at least half of cases; the perpetrator had encountered a recent rejecting event.
Furthermore, the shooters typically fit on one or more of the three risk factors that were investigated which included a fascination with death, an interest in explosives and guns and psychological problems. The research further postulated that it is probably the rejection in addition to one or more of the other risk factors which increase the risk that the student will perpetrate the violence against the teachers, other students or the administrators (Herbert, Scheithauer and Bondu).
A summary of the report of the Secret Service of the U.S. on having Safe Schools additionally emphasized that in more than the three-quarters of such cases analyzed, the young people anticipating to commit targeted violence said it at least to one individual about their plans before they committed the offense. In nearly all of the cases, however, the individual told about the plan did not relay the information to the adult individuals of the society (Evans et al.). One study indicated that there was lack of apprehension amongst those who had knowledge about the school aggressors and their plans regarding their threats. In the study, in all the cases, peers failed to report the threats of the serious ferocity and of the parents, peers and the professionals to cogitate them seriously (Duplechain, Rosalind and Robert).
Mental illness furthermore is a subject that needs a lot of studies to determine to what extent that it plays a role in a school shooting. Most of the school shooters have been identified as having emotional, mental distress. However, other than mental disorder being the primary cause, it is pretty probable that mental illness prejudices an individual to numerous risk factors which upsurge the chances of violence (Phipps). Individuals with mental illness, for example, may have a greater risk of viciousness due to their disordered suppositions, attributional biases, perceptions and the disordered manners of discerning and affect which complement these diagnoses.
Many studies have established a connection between the violent and belligerent conduct with hyperactivity, concentration deficits or attention and impulsivity. Impulsivity makes individuals consider the present rather than future and thus might permit them to comprehend the magnitudes of their actions effusively. More so, narcissists might commit violence due to their conviction in their preeminence and their outlooks of this preeminence being threatened by other individuals. It has been established that most of the school shooters underwent some counseling sessions for impulsivity, antisocial behavior, and depression. Rather than focusing on the specific metal illness of the person, it will be more beneficial to focus on their behaviors and thinking so as to assess the possibility of that person becoming violent (Nader).
Lastly, Sumiala, Johanna and Glenn established that almost all of the school shooters had easy access to the guns. The shooters had guns within their homes, and these same guns were used in the attacks. Owings examined the schools shooting between the years 1992-1999 and found out that the students were more likely to have obtained the firearms from their homes other than from any other available source (Evans et al.).
Even though there is no perfect way to ensure that the school shootings will never transpire, there are numerous prevention mechanisms and policies a school can implement to minimize the possibility that gunmen or a gunman can infiltrate the school environment and commit mass murder. First, all schools ought to implement multiple measures which best suit that specific school to minimize the risk of the school shooting. Additionally, all schools ought to have resource officers who need to build a better relationship with the leaners and to respond quickly to actual or potential violence when necessary. The schools also should put in place threat assessment procedures that will assist in the identification of the students who might have the intent to commit the violence upon the school. The relatives and parents furthermore should take the necessary precautions to prohibit the students access to any weapons which are kept within their homes (Duplechain, Rosalind and Robert).
The most important measure each and every school ought to put in place to promote student safety is to hire an SRO (school resource officer). Even though SRO programs differ from one school to another, it is of utmost importance that the SRO be a police officer and not a school administrator. SROs are usually armed in cases of emergency and are always in uniform (Phipps). The SROs have three main functions. First, they have the arrest powers as they are police officers and second, they are counselors to issues related to law thereby helping with the guiding the children to the suitable community services.
Lastly, the SROs are the teachers of the law. They can have their classes in which they can teach the learners on matters about the law or have talk show whereby they educate the learners on the importance of upholding the law (Herbert, Scheithauer and Bondu). The SROs are exceedingly beneficial due to the contrast of the average school teacher who typically has no any training in relation to an armed attacker within the school premises, the SROs poses specific training relating to the phenomena and can respond accordingly to ensure the safety of the students and teachers with other members of the school fraternity (Nader). The implementation of the SRO programs in the schools makes the students feel safe and reduces the level of crime (Evans et al.).
Other ways to ensure that the school environment is safer and free from shootings is to address the issue of the mental health and the well-being of the students. As the SROs may be the right step in assisting the learners with the mental health issues, threat assessment is of utmost necessity to ensure school safety. Threat assessment permits the school authorities to manage, assess and identify the students who might have the capacity and intent to launch an attack. Under threat assessment, level one screening is triggered in case of...
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