Would you mind taking this quick survey about your experiences in school and how you feel it has affected you? Academia Revolution is collecting stories to help explain to people how school can be a toxic environment.
High School FightsOn the one hand, watching people fight is generally fun for most people. On the other hand, why are they fighting? Does anyone even care? Most of the time, no. They just want to watch them beat the crap out of each other. This page is going to cater to both people: those who don't care and just want to watch people beat each other up, and those who do care enough to actually read the text on this page.
School Causes Fights and ViolenceSchool is compulsory and students are forced to go, whether they want to or not. The prevailing attitude is to tell kids that what they want doesn't matter, that what teachers or parents decide for them is more important. This makes kids feel powerless over the course of their own lives, and makes them frustrated. Frustrated people are more prone to violence.
School deliberately forces kids to spend time with people they normally would not want to see or even be near, and makes it difficult for them to get away from each other. This environment causes bullying... and the school is powerless to stop it because bullying is a natural consequence of the school environment itself.
Discipline in schools is based on fear and threats, not on positive role models. In fact, positive role models in schools (and pretty much everywhere else) are incredibly rare. So kids generally learn (by example) that the way to get what you want is to use threats and fear, and when that doesn't work, it's totally acceptable to resort to violence, because that's what everyone else does.
"School violence" is not the problem. School itself being compulsory is the problem. Society is also a major problem. But if kids were to grow up in more nurturing environments, they would not resort to violence, and society would gradually improve. Nurturing environments don't involve force, fear, being around people you can't stand, and being told that what you want doesn't matter. So, compulsory schooling is a big reason why society is so messed up.
"The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears. I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt -- and there is the story of mankind." - John Steinbeck, East of Eden, 1952
"Researchers at Columbia University looked at 88 corporal punishment studies and found a definite connection between spanking and 10 negative outcomes, including damaged parent-child relationships, increased potential for aggression, lying, cheating, bullying and depression, as well as a greater chance that the spanked child will physically abuse his or her own children."Source: nospank.net
"As long as the child will be trained not by love, but by fear, so long will humanity live not by justice, but by force." - Boris Sidis, from "A lecture on the abuse of the fear instinct in early education" in Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1919.
Research about fights in school
- In a prospective study spanning nineteen years, researchers found that children who were raised in homes with a lot of corporal punishment, turned out to be more antisocial and egocentric, and that physical violence became the accepted norm for these children when they became teenagers and adults.
- A study of the effects of physical punishment on children's later aggressive behavior showed that the more frequently a child was given physical punishment, the more likely it was that he would behave aggressively toward other family members and peers. Spanking caused less aggression if it was done in an overall nurturing environment and the child was always given a rational explanation of why the spanking occurred.
- Adults who received a lot of physical punishment as teenagers had a rate of spouse-beating that was four times greater than those whose parents did not hit them. Husbands who grew up in severely violent homes are six times more likely to beat their wives than men raised in non-violent homes.
- Studies of prison populations show that most violent criminals grew up in a violent home environment.
The home environment is thought to contribute to school violence. The Constitutional Rights Foundation suggests long-term exposure to domestic violence, physical abuse of the child, and child sexual abuse teaches children that violent activities are acceptable. Exposure to parental corporal punishment increases the risk of aggressive conduct in children and adolescents.
The motherís application and the child's counterapplication of coercive behaviors, also explains the development of aggressive conduct in the child. Coercive behaviors include behaviors that are ordinarily punishing (e.g., whining, yelling, hitting, etc.). Abusive home environments can inhibit the growth of social cognitive skills needed, for example, to understand the intentions of others.
Conclusion? Kids who are generally treated disrespectfully or violently by their parents, teachers and/or other people they see often, are more likely to get into fights or bully other kids. And more likely to hit their kids one day.
In 2007, a national survey was conducted and found that 5.9% of students carried a weapon (gun, knife, etc.) on school property during the 30 days preceding the survey. The rate was three times higher among men than among women. In the 12 months preceding the survey, 7.8% of secondary students reported being threatened or injured with a weapon at school at least once. In the 12 months preceding the survey, 12.4% of students had been in a fight at school at least once. The rate for men was double the rate found among women. In the 30 days preceding the survey, 5.5% of students reported that because they do not feel safe, they do not attend school every day.
If someone picks a fight with you, should you fight back? We had a forum discussion about this at some point. You can read it here: Fights at school, to fight or not to fight.
More Fights at School: Videos