It’s a sad reality that violence in schools is becoming more and more common. Despite this, there are things that we can do to help prevent it. This blog post will discuss some of the most effective ways to keep our children safe from violence in urban schools. We’ll look at both the individual and community level interventions that can make a difference. Keep reading for tips on how you can help make your child’s school safer!
What Makes It An Urban School?
One of the biggest factors that contribute to violence in schools is the environment in which they are located. Schools in urban areas are more likely to have higher levels of violence than those in rural areas. So, what exactly makes a school an urban school? There are a few key factors:
-The school is located in an area with a high density of people.
-The school is located in an area with high levels of poverty and/or crime.
-The school has a high percentage of students who are from minority groups.
The question then becomes how these factors, among others, contribute to higher levels of violence.
Why Is Violence Such A Pressing Issue?
Imagine the daily problems that you faced in grade school.
Bad grades, hygiene, relationships, sports, and clubs.
Now try adding a constant threat of violence on top of all of that. It wouldn’t take long for your
grades to suffer.
And more important than the grades and performance is safety, both from the immediate danger of violence and the delayed effects it has on mental health.
Kids are more sensitive than we allow them to be, and we need to give them all the tools at our disposal to handle the world ahead of them.
And when it comes to violence, urban schools tend to take the spotlight, but violence is not an issue divided by location or demographic.
What About Violence In Suburban Schools?
There is a difference in perception between upper and lower-class delinquency.
And there’s nothing new about this belief. People have been writing studies since the 1970s on the difference between these two groups, and when it comes down to it, a difference in perception is just that.
The upper-class kids just have more access to privacy and transportation to get out of town and away from where anyone can see them.
In more recent times, The U.S. Department of Education and Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 82% of urban schools experienced violent incidents, compared to 74% of suburban schools. That’s less than a 10% difference.
Then What’s The Difference?
While the rates of violent incidents are similar in these two areas, there is a difference in gang-related school crime that skews towards urban schools.
34% of Urban schools experience gang-related violence compared to 19% in urban schools.
And while urban schools have higher rates of violence, suburban schools conversely punish their students more frequently on average.
But what’s dominating the headlines isn’t the violence that is coming from urban schools. It’s the rampant gun violence that we have seen in most suburban areas.
“In reality, school shooters are almost the polar opposite of the “typical” violent juvenile offender. School shooters often attend affluent suburban high schools, belong to the middle class, have not been violent or aggressive in the past, and are white.” – Criminal Justice Research
Okay, So Everyone Is Violent. What Can We Do About It?
On a broader level, there is always more that schools can do to promote safety and continue to protect their students.
Urban schools, specifically, face larger issues relating to resources for both students and their teachers, and lower combined with strenuous working conditions means that the former vastly outnumber the latter.
We can teach our students the mindset techniques that they need to control and calm their impulses on the individual level.
This type of mindfulness training can have short and long-term effects on their overall mood, happiness, and school performance.
What Is Mindfulness Training?
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment.
It’s about accepting and noticing what is happening right now without judging it.
When we are mindful, we are more likely to respond thoughtfully rather than emotionally to events that happen around us.
This type of training can be implemented through different types of meditation and specific breathing techniques.
The first step is to teach your students how to breathe properly, which involves relaxing their shoulders, sitting up straight with their head tilted slightly forward, placing one hand on their stomach and the other on their chest. Then they close their eyes and breathe in through the nose for a count of four seconds and out through the mouth for a count of four seconds.
This exercise will make your students more aware of their breathing and how it relates to stress, as well as help them relax and focus on the moment.
And they can use visualization techniques when they feel overwhelmed or anxious. This is another way to help them stay in the present moment and not get lost in their thoughts.
One visualization technique is to imagine that they are walking on a beach. The sand is warm and soft under their feet, the sun is shining, and the waves are crashing against the shore. As they walk, they take in all of their surroundings and feel the peace and relaxation that comes with it.
The final step is to teach them some basic meditation techniques. This will help them learn how to focus and control their thoughts, as well as stay in the present moment.