Education

Students: Stop the Violence!

By Bryan Toporek — November 03, 2009 1 min read

In response to the sickening news of gang rape occurring outside a Calif. high school’s homecoming dance, a USC professor is calling attention to role of student tips and reports in efforts to stop school violence.

Ron Avi Astor, Ph.D, a professor in USC’s Schools of Social Work and Education, writes an opinion piece on CNN.com that says instead of asking questions such as “Why are our kids so messed up?” and “What’s happening in our schools?,” we should be asking, “What can we do to prevent such heinous acts from happening?”

Astor believes that students themselves hold the power to stopping school violence. He cites research showing that students typically know where and when violence on campus will occur, largely due to the prominence of online social networks, text messaging, and widespread cellphone use.

Since the tragedies of Columbine in 1999 and Virginia Tech in 2007, Astor believes students to have become more vigilant in noticing potential safety threats. Student reports halted a Columbine-style massacre at a high school in Green Bay, Wisc. a few years back; and in August, student tips and an alert teacher stopped a potential tragedy from occurring at Hillside High School in San Mateo, Calif.

“Unfortunately, the public is largely unaware of these frequently heroic acts by high school students and their teachers because they don’t often get national media attention,” Astor explains. “That lack of information has helped obscure the important roles that students and their responsive teachers play in preventing school violence.”

Ultimately, Astor believes school administrators and teachers must answer the call and teach students procedures about how to handle reporting incidents of violence in schools. If the schools provide the backbone, he thinks students will do the rest when it comes to preventing school violence.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read