Four obvious origins of violence in education can be identified. Increased violence in society as a while, violent teachers and school officials, violence in the children’s homes and violence from outsiders who view schools as open sources of victims are the most common conditions that are discussed and mentioned.
Schools are unique among the government enforced, mandatory locations for people. There is an enormous public trust that children, who are not expected to operate or to think as adults, will be led, taught how to behave and controlled with their natural tendencies get out of hand.
But schools were developed when there was an expectation (or delusion) that there were stable home lives, there was no pervasive drug and alcohol abuse, and violence was not pervasive in society, on the streets, in sports and in entertainment. There was parent involvement in schools that were more community based, smaller and more capable of being in touch with each and every member of the community.
In reality, there was always violence in education. There were always some homes that were violent in nature. There were always teachers who should not have been in their positions.There was corporal punishment and outright sadistic cruelty by teachers and school officials that went way too far.
Then and now, in order to look for the origins of violence in education, it only makes sense to look for the origins of violence in society as a whole, and to consider schools to be as likely to serve as incubators of violent tendencies as anywhere else in the world.
It is well known that if violence and high emotion is rampant in the home and neighborhood, then the children will bring it all to the school classroom and to the school yard. But not all of the violence is obvious or even known outside of the home. The child is expected to adjust to the school environment, but that may not be possible. Today, there are very excellent and advanced programs for dealing with children who exhibit social adjustment problems, but the number of children with the problems, combined with parental interference, and refusal to help, budget cuts and other limitations may just be overwhelming.
And these conditions are going on in all communities, regardless of economic, ethnic, racial or other classifications.
There are state of the art programs for screening teachers, workers and school officials, but many manage to slip through the cracks to create horrific situations. When the schools refuse to report or to handle such abuse, the problem is compounded. Increased scrutiny, handling legal entanglements, getting parent involvement, and better screening and triaging of students and teachers might help.
But, a major component, getting parent involvement, is becoming difficult, if not impossible. This especially so when the parents are so dysfunctional that they cannot be reliable or helpful at all.
Violence, physical aggression and thrill seeking or risky behavior has happened throughout history. When a society has elements of political, warfare, economic and social destabilization, violent influences will be on the rise in entertainment, with and times of unsupervised isolation as the main incubators of violent acting out and actualization.
Finally, when school officials do nothing about school related bullying, aggression and violence, the school itself can be considered a place of unsupervised isolation where violence can get out of control. Since the children would not be together if they were not forced to go to a particular school for their education, then the school’s physical environment and social structure can be viewed as an originator and incubator of violence in education.