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Who is Responsible for School Violence?

Park, Hwan-su 기자2012.03.13 14:56:24

 
A middle school student committed suicide in Daegu recently and another suicide in Gwangju happened almost at the same time. Currently, Korean society is suffering from a disease named "School violence." According to statistics, 7,823 school violence incidents occurred last year in Korea. Some students not only play the bully in the class but also use violence such as water torture, or choking other classmates. These students" behavior is clearly wrong. However, is it only the students’ responsibility for all of these incidents?


I think that the grown-ups are also to blame for the violence. First, policy makers place emphasis on punishing assailant students severely, based on the idea that paternalism intensifies the school violence. Of course, a certain amount of corporal punishment is needed. However, severe punishment only can be a countermeasure. It cannot be a fundamental solution. We need programs that can prevent school violence.


Next, parents, teachers, and all adults are responsible for school violence. Adolescent students" behavior sometimes goes to extremes. Consequently, some students bully their classmates thinking that they only can be a winner by trampling on others. Some students cannot ask for help because they think that they have to go through these hardships alone. When witnessing youthful misdemeanors, they take no notice of it.


What these students need is proper attention. We often hear that students hardly have time to talk with their parents and teachers these days. I also did not have many conversations with my parents and teachers at that time. Disliking parents is not a reason for lack of conversation. When they talk with their parents or teachers, the conclusion is always the same: "You must study hard." Therefore the conversation has always turned into boring preaching. In a one-way conversation, students feel no sympathy. That is why they only open their heart to their friends who can understand them and eventually rationalize their actions.


If parents and teachers are willing to walk a mile in their shoes and listen to what they say, students will also open their minds. Students are largely responsible for school violence, one of the most important issues in Korean society. Their propensity for violence and carelessness cannot be understood. However, if adults including policy makers, parents and teachers pay more attention to students and show them the right path, tragedy can be prevented.

[No. 343]
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