School Violence Intervention Plan
Social workers are continuously devising ways to address the cases of violence in school. Family, peer pressure, and strains within the surrounding are some of the interrelated factors that contribute to the student’s behavior in school. By identifying the possible sources of student’s violent behavior in school, social workers would now have a grasp in devising ways to address the problem.
This is the reason why social workers should clearly identify the indicators of violence and, to continue dwelling on research, for them to devise and or revise proper measures to prevent, if not, lessen it.Rationale of the StudyThe No Child Left Behind Act required the state to provide a founded data on violence as well as to provide an indicators to identify the schools with reported cases of violence (http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=16680). In this regard, the paper aims to identify the most common causes of violence in school and to provide an intervention plan based on the strength perspective, in which the social workers may use in either improving the previous intervention programs that they have in school, or in completely changing the program.
Theoretical PerspectiveThe Strength Perspective puts premium on the role of social reformers like the social workers, in enhancing the situation of its clients while making use of the information that he/she gathered through research (http://www.socwel.ku.edu/Strengths/about.shtml).
Its principles involved ideas on: the use of individual and group strength, collaboration with other people, seeing challenges and opportunities amidst problems, and aims toward positive changes in both the individual, its environment and towards other groups (http://www.socwel.ku.edu/Strengths/about.shtml).
Review of Related LiteratureSchool violence is one of the problems that Americans are facing for the past decade. Bennett-Johnson (2003) claimed that American violence is not only occurring in the tertiary level but also in secondary and even elementary years in the recent decade (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCR/is_2_38/ai_n6130139). In line with this, there is a need to do an in-depth literature review to see the trend in all the cases of school-based violence and to assess the appropriate measures to the problems.It was identified that violence in public schools involved rape, robbery and other serious crimes reflective of the crimes in the community and in society as a whole (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCR/is_2_38/ai_n6130139). Since school violence has become a greater problem, not only in one school in the United States but to many other schools, there is a need to look for pattern in this school incident.According to the report of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, the trend in school violence have found to decreased from 1992 to 1999 (http://www.
lib.msu.edu/harris23/crimjust/school.htm). The data of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) supported the claim of BJS by saying that between 1993 and 1999, the reported cases of violence had been found to decrease in many cities (http://www.ncjrs.
gov/html/ojjdp/jjjournal_2001_6/jj1.html). A decrease of two percent in the victims of violence in school was reported between 1995 and 1999(http://www.lib.msu.edu/harris23/crimjust/school.
htm). However, A recent survey done by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S.
Department of Justice in 2006 revealed that there is now an increase in the cases of violence from 1999 to 2005 (http://www.crf- usa.org/network/network13_1/talking_points.htm). This implied that the cases of violence in school have again become a serious issue in the United States.Who are the victims of school violence?Bennett- Johnson (2004) in her article pointed out that victims of school violence were high in rural areas where poverty is patent.
The author correlated poverty with the high tendency of committing crime, higher alcohol and drug abuse, and the emerging state of “anomie” in the area. The tendency towards committing crime comes from the fact that whenever a person losses a job or has no job at all, (s)he tends to be irritated and annoyed easily, leading the person to resort to violent actions. This action becomes a cyclic process, since children get to learn the way the primary socializing agent (parent) behave, hence bringing this attitude in school Inequality in school in terms of access to opportunity is one of the factors that trigger higher risk of school violence according to the researcher from University of Missouri Columbia (http://web.missouri.edu/~news/releases/akibasschoolviolencestudy.html).
Moreover, from the study conducted by Motoko Akiba, it was found out that school victimization in the United States was high among male achievers (http://web.missouri.edu/~news/releases/akibasschoolviolencestudy.html).Causes of School ViolenceOne of the causes of school violence is the capability to access deadly weapons. Compared to the 80’s, fewer teens are having access to guns and deadly weapons in 2004.
A report from the Keck School of Medicine revealed that in LA countries children aged 10-19 died from guns; either through homicide or suicide. A similar study also showed that children who had been exposed to firearm violence experienced personal anxiety, higher tendency to emic performance in school (http://www.usc.edu/schools/medicine/departments/family_medicine/research/grants/yvp/factsheet.html#quickfacts).The second cause of school violence involved exposure to media violence.
Professors A. Badura, D. Ross and S.A. Ross in 1963, conducted a study by dividing 100 children into four.
The three groups were exposed to real-life violence, media and cartoon violence, while the last group was not exposed to any violence. The study showed greater response to frustrating situation among the first three groups than on the fourth group. (http://www.crf-usa.org/network/network13_1/talking_points.htm).
Psychological Science in the Public Interest in 2004 claimed that greater exposure to media violence increases the tendency of being aggressive and violent among viewers. Side by side with this issue, abused on the use of the internet is also contributing to the problem of school violence. One manifestation of violence through the internet is the “cyberbullying”- it is where child A is harassed, threatened or humiliated by child B using the internet, digital camera or mobile phones (http://safety.xanga.com/2006/06/18/what-is-cyberbullying-exactly/).
The third cause of school violence is the environment where the child is familiar with. The school environment has now become an unsafe environment for students presumably due to the existence of gangs; however juvenile crime which is gang related is relatively small in percentage (http://www.crf-usa.org/network/network13_1/talking_points.htm).
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, schools with higher enrollment rate tends to have thirty four percent of reported disrespect(with 1,000 or more students) towards teachers which is relatively high by 13 percent for those schools with less than a thousand students(http://www.crf-usa.org/network/network13_1/talking_points.htm ). The family is the first significant others of the child. The child readily accepts the stimulus that comes from his/her significant others.
This is because, the child lacks the experience to interpret the new stimulus in his or her surroundings and when this is being neglected by his/her significant others, he/she is more likely to repeat the behavior even if it means hurting others. Lastly violence can increase in schools where administrators, social workers and or teacher’s report are underrated.Intervention PlanFrom a series of studies on school violence, it was found out that the problem involved an interrelated contribution of both personal and outside factors (family, school environment, access to weapons and high technology). Based on the problems identified and by using the Strength perspective, the author proposes some intervention plans. The individual maybe exposed to a lot of negative words in his/her surroundings. Labeling and occasional putting of names to a person may result him/her to live with it.
As social worker, it is important to suggest to the parents of a “problematic child” to get rid of calling negative names for their children when the latter commits mistake. Every child is open to possibilities and value their significant others. Moreover, children loved to be rewarded and praised, so it would be easier to talk to them intently and explain their misbehavior than calling them names. Dealing with students who have violent behaviors is not easy. Being a social worker requires genuine concern to the client (http://www.socwel.
ku.edu/Strengths/about/assessingStrengths.shtml).Establish rapport with the client, and work together to improve his/her psychological, social, physiological, and even economic aspects. Listen to the negative thoughts, feelings and words of the client.
Devise methods to which client can overcome these behaviors by making him/her think of positive solutions to his/her problems. Discover ways to improve and boost his/her confidence and for him/her to look for the positive path that he/she wanted. Teach him/her to be creative, innovative and productive. Team up with people who are capable of showing great concern for the client: family and relatives, friends, teachers. If the client lives not in a hazard free environment, banged on his/her positive outlooks and plans to rise productively amidst the hazard and work on to realize those plans. Above all things, mentors, and school administrators should not undermine the effect of school violence to the students.
Cases of violence in school should be addressed immediately and should not be underrated for authorities and other social institutions to team up and work for the most comprehensive plans in lessening school violence.