Saturday, March 04, 2006

School violence

Back in 1999, Slate ran an article on school violence. I find it useful to post it here, as I often get questions from friends and family asking if I am scared at school, or if I believe violence is getting worse. The answers to both are “no,” but I have not had the words to explain myself. This article may help explain.

Students Have Always Been Violent
They're just better armed today.
By David Greenberg

Judging by the histrionic Columbine massacre coverage you'd think that children are by nature innocent, free of violent or sexual thoughts until corrupted by our culture. That schools have traditionally been safe. That the recent spate of killings is unprecedented.

History says otherwise. In every era, American schoolchildren--especially teen-agers--have been unruly and destructive. As late as the 17th century, those "children" we now call teen-agers were considered adults. And preteens swore, drank, had sex, even dueled with guns. If school violence wasn't a problem back then, it's only because few children went to school.

Read the entire article here.

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