I am getting increasingly bewildered at the recent wave of protests in the wake of shootings in America’s schools. Why don’t our school age children want to address the real issues in the recent wave of school violence. First the terminology. Why are they calling it “gun violence” and skipping school to protest in the streets. Yes there is violence in our schools; and the level is increasing. If the protesters were really serious they would be protesting “violence”, all violence, instead of trying to deflect the problem onto gun ownership and off the real issues.
Gun ownership by the general public has existed in America continuously since before it was America. However, the increasing violence in schools is a relatively recent phenomenon. So it is not possible to correlate the two.
If we are to believe the news media reports, virtually all the school shooters in recent times were loaners, socially outcast by their peers, even bullied in some cases. There are many factors in todays society that are promoting each generation to become more and more violent. They include the dissolution of the traditional family unit, violence on TV, movies, and in games, increasing peer pressure to conform socially, increasing prevalence of gang activity, increasing availability of narcotics, and and the list goes on. Being a high school student in urban America is a very stressful place and some people simply can not handle the stress; and some resort to violent attacks on their oppressors.
If the school protesters really wanted to curb the rise of school violence, they should first look inward instead of outward. They should work diligently to make their school’s social climate one that includes everyone. They should demand an end to social media shaming of others, bullying in all forms, and ostracizing individuals who they deem as social non-conformists. These are things that they could actually change.
However, it is easier to follow the example of our politicians; if a problem is hard to fix, try and deflect onto something that is easy to change but not necessarily relevant to solving the problem. Sure, skipping school and having a meaningless protest rally is fun, trouble is, it is deflecting from the real issue, and the problem continues.
School protesters please stop misusing the term “gun violence” to describe all violent behavior and make a real effort to create a more humane social climate for all students. This would do more to curb school violence that any day of skipping school could do.