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We need to stop stigmatizing and discriminating students and go for equity and inclusion to make schools violence free
The deadly incident of mass shooting in a high school of America by Cruz (19), expelled former-student with a troubled past, who stalked the halls of the school he had studied in, gunned down 17 people, mostly students, has shocked the world. The accused has arrested off the school campus and now has been jailed and police are investigating the case.

It is widely held by sociologists that school violence has become a serious and challenging problem in recent decades in many countries, especially where weapons such as guns or knives are involved for fatal attacks. The safety of students and school personnel has become big issue for which external solutions are being sought rather than looking within to overcome the problem.

Even, in India, the school violence is on the increase. The recent incidents of murder of primary section student of Ryan International School in Gurugram and murder of the lady principal of a private school in Yamunanagar of Haryana by an expelled student have caused a widespread concern for safety of students and staff.

"School violence in India has moved from being a rare tragedy to a level of tragic reality quite like in many countries. But, the there is a need to have a fresh and holistic look at the problem of school violence. Stricter laws, rules, tighter security and technology driven surveillance are of no consequences. There exist evidences that stricter rules and harsher disciplinary measures lead to higher levels of aggressiveness or alternatively depression in youth cause violence on others or on the self," says Jaipur based retired teacher Prabha Kishore.

The UNESCO's report of 2017 'School Violence and Bullying: Global Status Report' says, "School violence encompasses physical violence, including student-on-student fighting and corporal punishment; psychological violence, including verbal abuse; sexual violence, including rape and sexual harassment; many forms of bullying, including cyberbullying; and carrying weapons in school."

The schools, despite appointment of the counsellors, are unable to make a positive impact since internalizing behavior such as loss of self-esteem, withdrawal, inhibition, anxiety, and depression are not being addressed. Rather, the schools' social environment and sullen teaching practices are leading to delinquency, aggression, and  hyperactivity among adolescent students.

The US-based Constitutional Rights Foundation suggests that long-term exposure to gun violence, parental alcoholism, domestic violence, physical abuse of the child, and child sexual abuse teaches children that criminal and violent activities are acceptable. It is being pointed out that that exposure to television violence, film violence, internet, short-cuts and violent video games are also related to increased aggressiveness in children.

However, it needs to be seen that the quality of education and social support system of schools needs to made sound and school personnel need to work as role models to students if school violence is to be mitigated. If schools have to be free of violence, stigma and discrimination of students must stop and equity and inclusion must be taken care of, I feel.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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