24 July 2011

School Violence Led to a Boy's Death

School Violence
A six-year old boy died last 4 July 2011 at a hospital in Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte, four days after he was attacked by a nine-year-old schoolmate.

Chief Superintendent Elpidio de Asis, chief of the Western Mindanao police office, said Ernesto Gando Jr. was allegedly "hit" by a schoolmate on 1 July and had to be rushed to the hospital for unspecified injuries. The police is still conducting their investigation on this incident.

As teachers, parents and students prepare and begin this 2011 school year, hopefully, fears of school violence such as the example above will not be a major concern anymore. What is sad is that school violence needs to be a concern at all. The fact is, violence of one sort or another is part of many schools today. Fortunately, this usually involves a small group of people fighting amongst themselves. This does not mean that it will not happen at all.

As terrible and frightening as incidents of school violence are, they are rare. But it's natural for kids to worry. How can you help them deal with these violence in the place of learning?

What Can Parents Do?

They can pay attention to subtle and overt changes in their children. Many times there are warning signs well in advance of violence. They can watch for these and report them to guidance counselors. Some examples include:
  • Sudden lack of interest

  • Obsessions with violent games

  • Depression and mood swings

  • Writing that shows despair and isolation

  • Lack of anger management skills

  • Talking about death or bringing weapons to schoolt

  • Violence towards animals
What Can Teachers Do?
  • Similar to parents, watch for the above warnings signs

  • Talk to parents about concerns they might have - remember to keep the lines of communication open

  • Bring concerns to guidance counselors and administration

  • Be consistent in enforcing classroom and school policies

  • Make your room a prejudice-free classroom - set the policy from the first day and enforce it

  • Teach anger management skills as the need arises - be a good role model for the students yourself

  • Create a plan of how to handle emergency situations with your students
What Can Students Do?
  • Refuse to succumb to negative peer pressure, especially when violence is involved

  • Report any knowledge of weapons on campus

  • Tell your teachers about suspicious behaviors of other students

  • Walk away from confrontations