Violence in School

Skyler Dodd, Writer

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Fights at North Kansas City High School are nothing new and nothing special. Teenagers get aggressive. According to USA Today, school violence has increased by 113% since last year. If efforts aren’t made to stun this, that number will rise more and more.

Mr. McCune, a teacher at North Kansas City High School, expresses the bad impact fights have on not just the school, but the community in general.

“Anything with a fight it’s going to be a negative reaction. Because, I think, anymore you have two students who obviously have some issue, I think, a lot of times, it’s people who their first reaction is to fight,” McCune says.

Regarding the Character Strong Lessons, Mr. McCune believes they will teach students how to deal with their more emotional issues. Help teach them how to think about their actions and they could potentially lead to.

“Instincts are more physical, but if you’re taught and, hopefully, with the Character Strong Lessons it’s more social and emotional learning,” McCune adds.

A fellow NKCHS teacher, Mr. O’Keefe, believes that fights affect the school community in multiple ways. Like McCune, he also believes that all have a damaging impact.

“I think the fights affect our community in many ways. I mean, obviously, it causes some sort of gossiping to occur, other releases in different ways, I mean, it hopefully will not result in other fights or other mishaps but in reality, they potentially could,” O’Keefe says.

Mr. O’Keefe explains that the Character Strong Lessons are to help students consider the consequences of their actions. Help them learn self-control and how not to act on emotion.

“The idea of the Character Strong, in the year of its first introduction in Northtown, is just to try and get people to think about their actions, how they treat others, and how they treat themselves,” O’Keefe says.

O’Keefe believes that, even though Character Strong is new, that progress has been made in helping the students.

“In my personal experience, in my classroom, people were kind of hesitant about the change – saying things like; ‘why is this being introduced?’ ‘I’m not sure,’ and,  ‘this is kind of uncomfortable.’ But, now that we’re in November, I’ve noticed my students just in conversations with me and me sharing from what I can relate to in the Strong Lessons, they’re a little more likely to open up.” O’Keefe says.

O’Keefe explains that diversity within our school gives students the opportunity to learn more and connect. In turn, this could potentially help in the decrease in violence.

“In terms of diversity, we’re always going to be incredibly diverse. But I think what it does kind of bring up is that we need to learn how to learn from each other, from our backgrounds, from our viewpoints and if there’s a way to figure out doing that, maybe through Character Strong maybe through some medium that we haven’t even explored yet, I think that’s a real opportunity.” O’Keefe says.

Mrs. Robinson, the campus supervisor of NKCHS, claims that the violence on campus damages our community. It’s unnecessary and it should be avoided.

“I think it’s horrible for the community. Nothing is solved by fighting so I just don’t understand why kids fight, I guess, it just doesn’t make sense to me.” Robinson says.

Robinson believes that certain things like media and entertainment lead young people to have violent tendencies.

“I do think a lot of it is from the shows that they watch. I think they watch a lot of ‘The Kardashians,’ and ‘The Basketball Wives,’ and the ‘Real Housewives,’ they play Fortnite and Call of Duty.” Robinson says.

Mrs. Robinson has noticed a certain increase in fights this year, believing them to be the students not understanding how to cope with certain issues.

“This year I have seen an increase but I do believe it’s because the students are desensitized to life. I don’t think they know how to communicate or how to just let things go.”