Why Are School Zones Dangerous?

Why Are School Zones Dangerous?

School safety is always a concern for most parents. Violence in schools is a widespread challenge that affects millions of children and threatens their constitutional right to basic education. Read on to learn more about how school zones have become dangerous.

Common Types of Violence in Schools


Bullying in schools can have severe and long-term consequences for the victims. It can also impact their academic performance and lead to destructive behaviour. Unfortunately, this problem affects most young people with the intent to cause harm.

On the other hand, it can be subtle enough for others to overlook it. In this case, the victim might be subjected to emotional and psychological attacks that teachers and parents might not be aware of. It’s essential to increase awareness of verbal, physical and even online bullying (cyberbullying) to reduce the impact it might have on victims.

Physical Fighting

In most schools, physical fights among students are common. Several negative perceptions can lead to these types of altercations. For instance, they might indicate issues with how learners handle disagreements or a bullying concern that requires immediate intervention.

Teachers and governing bodies must ensure a safe educational environment to reduce the risk of physical altercations. In most cases, this includes creating a supportive environment where learners can find effective ways to interact positively. Additionally, physical fights at school also addresses the need to have open dialogues about mental health awareness.

Gang Violence and Use of Weapons

Research suggests that there is a concern about weapon use in schools, nationwide. While there may be a decline in physical fighting, students are resorting to carrying weapons to school zones at alarming rates. There have been reports of learners committing crimes such as stabbing or shooting someone within the school premises.

There are cases where specific communities are affected by gangs that filter into the school environment. This increases the personal safety of learners and staff in schools that are subjected to gang violence. The destruction of property, drugs, bullying, and weapon use is likely to increase in these regions.

Sexual Harassment and Assault

Sexual violence in schools is a widespread concern that requires immediate and urgent attention. The rights and dignity of children in schools should be protected. According to research, staff and learners are perpetrators, and stricter measures are necessary to report various forms of this violence.

Research also indicates that these might be the reasons for the increasing rate of sexual violence in schools:

  • Gross underreporting because of fear, power dynamics, and intimidation.
  • Ineffective management systems that overlook rules and regulations to report crimes of this nature.
  • Downplaying incidents in fear of ruining the school’s reputation.
  • Confusion of what is considered sexual harassment and assault.

What are the Risk Factors?

Did you know that there are risk factors that can increase or decrease the likelihood of a learner becoming a victim or perpetrator? For instance, significant academic performance, family environment, and mental health influences can impact how students navigate their learning environment. These risk factors can be divided accordingly:

Individual Factors: These include age, gender, and personal traumas that may increase victimisation or the need to portray violence.

Relationship Factors: The attitudes and actions of family or caregivers might substantially impact a learner’s behaviour.

Community Factors: A community that’s ridden with crime and drugs may be violent and increase the risk for violence victimisation in a school environment.

The Impact of School Violence

The impact of school violence can have short and long-term consequences for everyone involved. For instance, it can transform the school environment to be fuelled with fear and anxiety for the other learners and staff members. This can prevent students and teaching staff from accessing and benefiting from a safe, educational environment.

Other ways school violence can impact individuals are:

  • Poor mental health resulting from bullying, gang and sexual violence.
  • The inability to foster positive social interactions.
  • Poor concentration and academic performance.
  • Health consequences for sexual abuse victims.
  • Increased risk of engaging in crime outside of school.

While addressing school violence should be prioritised by the government, it’s still necessary for communities and caregivers to play a critical role in evaluating safety interventions. In most cases, school violence can be preventable by creating a safer and supportive environment for learners. The Free-to-use iER App can help you improve your child’s safety at school. Use it to access Social Services and over 14 000 emergency response units that can provide effective and immediate emergency assistance when needed.

Leave a Reply

Enter your keyword