by Lady Justice
In the past few weeks I have witnessed an escalation of extreme violence within our community. Schools from across the nation with varying ages and backgrounds are facing the same anger and violence. A school fight in the Santa Fe High School bathroom landed one boy in the hospital while his aggressor continued to beat him despite the fact he was down and out cold.
Another student had to hit him in the head several times to get him to stop. The victim of this attack, while in the hospital, was suspended for 3 days and the other student was allowed back at school.
A middle school girl at McAdam’s Junior High was sucker punched while looking at her phone. She fought back, the fight was stopped, but both girls were suspended because Dickinson ISD rules state that you are not allowed to protect yourself from physical assault, and the student is only allowed to walk away from attackers. While leaving the school, the mother of the aggressor harassed and mocked the victim publicly.
In Texas City as students were walking home, a high school girl aggressively confronted another student. She yelled at the other girl who asked several times for her to leave her alone. Instead she pushed her into the bushes and stood over her taunting her while she cried. A young man did step in and stop it. In all three incidents, videos were made and shared hundreds of times.
We live in the greatest country in the world, yet our educational system is failing our children by leaps and bounds. Our kids are now only a number in schools that are short staffed with undertrained, undereducated and more importantly underpaid teachers.
Children aren’t being taught valuable information anymore. They simply show up so the schools can collect their daily allowance to keep the funds flowing. Schools all over the nation have removed any programs that would be vital to a child’s success in life. These days all that matters are state test scores and sports. Why? Because they bring in the most money.
Worse yet the kids are not being tested to evaluate their own performance, they are being tested to evaluate the teachers and the school’s performance. Year after year they are subjected to hours of meaningless grueling test preparation instead of focusing on core curriculum and concepts. Many students that don’t fit the status quo, meaning they don’t perform highly in athletics or state testing, fall to the wayside and are forgotten.
Not only has educational curriculum changed, but the disciplinary procedures have been altered. An evolution of political correctness, policies and procedures have now tied our schools’ hands on being able to properly discipline students.
This evolution has empowered the bullies and caused the victims to be punished as faculty are forced to manage the madness without proper resources. School’s don’t even know how to classify bullying anymore; it is now referred to peer conflict. Federal laws allow many children guilty of bullying to obtain a free pass.
If students are classified under article 504, they cannot be held to the same standards as the rest of the children, yet they are intermingled with them. Typically, a 504 student is not a special education student but a student that has been given additional resources due to a learning disability. Although most students in the 504 program act within the parameters of proper behavior, a small amount are getting away with bullying because they are not being held to maintain the same citizenship standards as the rest of the student body due to their classification under the 504 program. The school system is not making them accountable for their actions, and everyone across the board needs to adhere to the same behavioral standards.
Not only have we created an unmotivated, lazy entitled generation but some of these parents are just as bad, if not worse than the children. Children learn from their parents and mimic their parents’ behavior. They will show up to schools in masses and defend their children claiming there is no way their precious angel could possibly have done what they have been accused of, and often times join their child in mocking and insulting the victim.
Anyone with working eyes and ears are well aware of the escalation of violence in schools, teenage suicides, abusive relationships, school shootings, and inappropriate relationships between students and teachers. School shootings are so common they have become almost a part of daily life. Students practice “active shooter” drills on a regular basis.
Adolescent children are being admitted to mental hospitals at record numbers. Yet law makers and school boards cannot explain the trends. The easiest thing to do is blame social media and the parents. Millions of parents get up early every morning and are forced to send their children to schools their tax dollars pay for, because they have no other option., if they don’t, they could be fined or arrested. Every day millions of parents pray their children will make it through the day, or wonder what unthinkable thing will happen. Yet we pay these people and trust them with the welfare of our children.
Our children are being robbed of their innocence due to the exposure of horrific violence and adult situations long before they should see such things. Yes, social media plays a part, but the number one reason school officials lay blame with social media is not because of the constant communication between classmates but the fact that they can no longer hide their lies under a rug.
Things that go on at school are now being recorded and shared instantly. I agree that social media isn’t the healthiest thing for this generation but it’s not something we can stop. Some parents think they are smart and sneaky and can gain access to their children’s accounts to monitor online behavior and actions.
Parents feel safe in this concept and powerful, but kids are aware. Kids are smart and sneaky and when a parent thinks they are in control of the situation, usually they are not. These kids will get phones from their friends and hide them from their parents and create dual accounts. So, the account the parent see seems fine no cause for alarm, the other account is where they really do what they are doing and hiding it. So, do you really feel like you know your kids?
Bullying. That is a term that gets thrown around an awful lot. The meaning has been lost. In recent years I have seen kids provoke someone until they react and call them a bully, however those roles are reversed. If you continually poke, pick and aggravate someone until they snap you are the bully. We have a generation of children that has no empathy or compassion for their peers, and they label them as school shooters or taunt them and say they should kill themselves.
Not only do the students do this but the teachers and parents are just as guilty in engaging in these types of behavior. Bullying is a learned behavior. Adolescents are mimicking behaviors they see at home and continue the behavior and the cycle needs to be broken.
We are creating pressure cookers for these children. We have removed their motivation to achieve therefore limiting their hopes for the future. We have toxic environments that don’t end when they leave school, having cell phones means the harassment can continue when you leave. The way these kids are today they don’t know when to stop, when it’s no longer funny. The most dangerous person in the world is someone that has lost all hope.
We need to push for change, not only at a local level, but at a state and national level. We have already lost a generation of children, and we are about to lose another one. We need to advocate for our younger generations and educate everyone about the cause and effects of bullying. Adolescents deal with multiple variations of bullying that we could not begin to understand, and unless we change our current course, violence will only escalate. Maybe next year is going to be better?