Published on June 23rd, 2014 | by Samantha Levine0
School Violence and the Impact on Today’s Youth
I recently stumbled across an opinion editorial I once wrote about school bullying and violence, and the impact it was leaving on today’s youth. I remember that I wrote about it then because it was becoming such a big topic in our media, and people were looking for answers. As I think about the issue now, I truly believe it’s become an even more serious situation than it was just a few years ago.
Nowadays we are hearing more and more stories in the news of teen bullying, and the tragic suicide stories that follow. If we continue to follow the media, we notice the number of teen suicide stories has increased; however so has the number of anti-bullying campaigns. So are we actually creating a solution and a safer environment in our schools? Are our parents and teachers playing a big enough part in prevention?
The blame used to lie on the fact kids would indulge in violent music, videos, or video games. While this may still be a contributing factor, now our biggest cause to blame is social media. Everyone has the ability to hide from behind a screen, and use a number of different outlets to send a message. Now while violence, and bullying will always pose some form of threat in schools, its critical we actually find a way to help.
In my op-ed I wrote about the idea of charter schools as a good idea to help. Students could maintain a good education and remove themselves from direct confrontation. While I still feel this could be a beneficial solution, I now believe it can only help out temporarily. Our society is so dependent on technology, kids today have become so in-tune with how to manipulate social media platforms and are able to continue to direct their threats and messages to their victims.
How Do We Stop Bullying in Schools?
So should our focus of absolving bullying lie more with those being targeted, or with those who are doing the targeting? While most social media campaigns reach out to the victims such as Love Is Louder and It Gets Better, the truth is our media is more concerned with focusing on those who are actually doing the bullying. By basically ostracizing them in the news, it serves as an additional punishment so the rest of the world can see what they’ve done and how they will be charged; but is this tactic doing more harm than good?
If we look at the situation of the Boston Marathon bombing, a slew of social media campaigns hit news feeds to stop running stories about the Tsarnaev brothers who triggered the bombings. Society did not want to recognize these two individuals as “famous” for the attack. The idea of creating a media frenzy around such a terroristic play was believed to be glorifying them, even if it was in a negative way. Therefore if we continue to blame social media, and the school systems for not doing enough to help our kids, we should really re-evaluate how much we are participating in the action ourselves.
Social media has changed the way that bullying happens, and the way the media covers the subject. There’s no obvious answer to the increase in bullying, but we need to ask ourselves if the current approaches are helping or hurting before we can find the right one.