School's Responsibility vs Parental Responsibility for school violence!!
News of a teenager from US being murdered in scuffle during birthday bash was the headline in all national dailies and breaking news on national television couple of days back and this is not the first time we have read or heard of such incidents in recent past.
Such horror stories are an eye opener for all of us and show us where the youth of the country is headed. Violence at school by teenagers is becoming very common and in some forms acceptable as well which should scare us all and make us think what is driving such behavior in our kids. Violence can be seen in many forms at the school place as it does not necessarily have to be physical, bullying or verbal abuse is also a form of violence which often is rubbed off by both parents and teachers as a part of growing up.
The child being bullied can go into depression in worst cases commit suicide or on being pushed in a corner can retaliate and turn to physical violence. Children in their teens are going through an important and difficult phase since they are trying to discover themselves as an individual and gain self as well as peer acceptance.
They are very vulnerable at this age and without the right guidance could easily go off track and resort to violent ways to get things the way they want. Vanity, anger and the need to feel accepted in peer group at school can put immense burden on kids to do whatever it takes to get the respect or things that they want.
The drive impairs the judgment of right and wrong since they ways do not matter as much as the result.
So who is to be held responsible when such incidents happen, is it the parent's responsibility or the school's job to keep children in line. Most kids these days are living in nuclear families where both the parents working.
Every parent would put their kids in the best possible school and then consider these schools that they are paying for are supposed to provide their kids good education and shape their personalities and hence when such incidents happen schools and the teachers are to blame for not doing their job.
There is something wrong with the above perspective. Though the parent's would be providing the best facilities to the kids for school, food, clothes etc. but probably not their time. They would compensate for lack of spending quality time by buying expensive gifts, clothes, tablets or phones for the kids which alienates them more from the parents.
In their teens kids need the guidance most from their elders and they should not be left alone to figure out life on their own. Trying to pay for the guilt of not spending quality time makes children materialistic in their perspective on life which reflects at their second home, their school.
Schools on the other hand might consider that imparting literary skills to the students is the primary job and shaping the moral behavior of students is the secondary responsibility. The worsening student teacher ratio and turning schools to business is not helping the cause as well.
The situation at some schools might not be so grim as well since there are still teachers in system who would want to stop children from being violent or bullying other kids, but there have been incidents where such teachers have been victims of violence.
So may it still does not answer the question we began with who is to be held responsible for such unfortunate incidents the school or the parents. May it is hard to answer this question since we can isolate any one of them, shaping our kids personalities is a shared responsibility and should be viewed as such. Till a time where this unified view does not exist we cannot hope to solve the issues of school violence. Parents need to talk to their kids on a daily basis to understand their behaviour and observe it closely.
In most cases there will be early signs of changes in kid's way of talking or behaving. Teachers at school, though difficult, but should attempt to observe all children inside/outside the class and even minor incidents of bullying/fights should be reported and handled on case to case basis. Most schools these days have started investing in counselors and psychologist and it would be in best interest of everybody if the kids who show early signs of violence or change in behaviour have sessions at school.
In cases where this does not help parents should go for professional help and not consider this a dogma. Collectively we might have an answer to the problem and that would be the best way going forward.