Violence in our Schools

Slice of Life logoThis is a short post!  I don’t even know where to go with my thinking! I don’t have answers. I guessing the rest of us don’t either because the problem just keeps coming up.

Violence is a strong word. Words can create as much damage as physical fighting. I no longer believe in the song we use to sing when I was little.

Stick and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!

Hurt comes in many ways! It might be hurt from an insult, from bullying, from leaving someone out, from yelling at someone. The list can go on and on! The hurt is real and it lasts in the fear we feel as we go through our day.

Some how we, as a society, have lost track of our words. We send them hurling towards people when we are frustrated, upset, confused. We don’t stop to think about what the meaning is behind those words. They come quick and fast. Life gets out of control and we use words (threats).

When those words fly out they hang in the air for our young students to absorb them, wear them.  They become the skin in which they walk around in. You can see it in their eyes, in the inability to sit down, read quietly. You can feel it when you ask them to close their eyes and visualize – to scary – few eyes go closed. They are watching.

You see it in the teachers who are distracted from their lessons, the chatter in the hall, the quick eye contact of one teacher to another. The concern because code yellow is set, doors locked, halls patrolled and cops are close by again.

Someone has let words fly! Anger over frustrations that have gotten out of control. The threat of guns. The words – I will return…

We wonder about reading scores, math scores but I wonder more about emotional needs of students who go home to this and teachers who teach in these halls. I know why we are struggling to learn.

I just don’t know how to change it – except to keep reaching out to one person at a time. Sit down and find the words that heal – slowly and quietly.

{Your question – Yes, this comes from a real situation at a real school today. Teachers and students on lock down. A parent let words fly – frustration and fear of their own that built to anger that is out of control. As of right now – school is not out yet and I have not heard from them for awhile. I am sure they are all fine and the situation has been resolved but the fear and concern stills sits within them. Hard way to start the week!)

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Violence in our Schools

  1. rissable says:

    Ohhhh….if only the ones in charge of making educational policy would just listen to you…to us…to teachers who understand how broken some of our students (and their parents) are. You say you don’t have answers but believe that if they would just ask….we’d come up with a few ideas.

  2. Tara Smith says:

    No answers, just feeling the pain of your situation today…and your frustration. This is a society wide problem, I fear. I just hope everyone in your school is okay.

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