OP/ED: Youth Violence In School’s a Growing Concern

With news pouring in on weather alerts, tsunamis, earthquakes and thousands of lives taken by mother nature, the last thing you would presume the news to report is minors performing violent attacks among one another.

This brings up the question, why isn’t the school taking action sooner than later?

Public schools are coming up in the news quite a bit, however, not for good reason. Students are being attacked by their peers; anger is taking complete control, and students are acting out on their negative emotions.

Negative behavior and constant abuse deserves punishment from the very start. Detention, suspension, and expulsion should all be considered possible punishments against students who continualy abuse or pick on their peers on or near school grounds. The level of severity will determine the kind of punishment placed on the student.

In recent news, a 12 year old boy from Berta A. Dreyfus School attacked a 13 year old Muslim girl, yelling “Aren’t you the Muslim girl we beat up? We’ll beat you up again.”

This wasn’t the first time the young girl had been tormented by this young man. This occurred on several occasions; however, no one understands why he would attack this girl for being Muslim; his father stated his own mother is a Muslim.

The young man didn’t show any remorse as photographers caught the pint size boy flipping off the cameras with a smile.

The violent attacks don’t stop here as yet another violent attack took place among two young girls in a classroom over a guy.

In early March, we also heard a story of a 16 year old high school student throwing acid in another girl’s face in a chemistry class over jealousy. Thankfully, the acid was diluted for the safety of the students, and the teacher immediately washed out the student’s face with water. The statement made by the girl who attacked the other female student was abrupt and careless.

“I was trying to burn Eshimbaeva’s eyes out,” stated the 16 year-old, according to the New York Times.

The acts of violence in schools has been spreading quickly and involving younger and younger children. Elementary schools are experiencing violence and student’s are being forced to fight often. While Iwas speaking to the father of a ten year old boy from Brooklyn, he went on to explain with much distress that his son is forced to protect himself on a daily basis as he is picked on and abused.

“I have to take my son out of that school. The teachers don’t do anything and my son is constantly forced to defend himself every day,” states the Thomas Gonzalez.

Schools experience this violence often, but are teachers and staff stepping up in the way they should be?  It turns out in many instances staff hasn’t intervened soon enough before attacks become worse. Some teachers ignore constant minor attacks between students and the problem persists and escalates into a violent attack that ends up on the morning news. We saw this in the case of the 13 year old Muslim girl from Berta A. Dreyfus Middle School. The young girl’s parents stated to WPIX news that this wasn’t the first time this young man was hitting her or picking on her.

Many incidents of violence in schools are the result of many previous incidents in which the victim was bullied on a regular basis by the same peer or group of people. These incidents need to be addressed early on in order to avoid future problems.

From the very start, staff members of a school should point out the negative behavior by giving the student detention and deducting points from the student’s grade. It the problem continues,  parents from both the bully and the victim should be called in along with the students and have a talk with the principa; about the situation and taking further action with possible suspension due to lack of obedience and cruel acts. Suspension, or even expulsion if the problem is severe, should be the consequence if the issues occured on and around school grounds.

If the negative outcomes of the problem that are addressed immediately, students wouldn’t have the opportunity to take it as far as it has gone.

– Delilah P. Valentin