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The impacts and prevalance of school violence

By Sophia Qin November 17, 2022

A mass of students begin to congregate around the school cafeteria as staff and administrators rush over to comprehend the situation. Confused and uncertain, students follow the growing crowd. Within the mob, yelling and cheering can be heard; a school fight has occurred.

Whether on school property, on the way to or from campus or during a school-related event, school violence may not only disrupt learning but also negatively impact the students physically, psychologically and emotionally.

Ellie Kim Art

In a nationwide survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five high school students reported being bullied on school campus, while 7% have been threatened by an unadministered weapon within the past year. The frequency of such incidents continues to increase as school officials are noticing a rise in misbehavior and assault across the country, as reported by Fox Business author Summer Park. As students transition from online learning back to in-person learning, they are struggling with social skills and building relationships, influencing negative behavior at school.

Ellie Kim Art

Violence within the student body takes on many forms, including verbal abuse, sexual violence, physical aggression and cyberbullying. According to a report released by UNICEF, bullying is the most common form of violence in schools. In the U.S., 19% of students put up with bullying throughout their four years in high school. Cyberbullying, a branch of bullying where individuals are targeted through a digital platform, is another major concern for school districts. As per StopBullying, a federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, among the victims of bullying, 15% were bullied through an online platform.

However, most students are indirectly involved in violent school events as bystanders—an influential actor that can either hinder or encourage the bully. Bystanders can take on any one of four roles: an assistant, reinforcer, defender or passive outlooker. A study published by BMC Psychology revealed that 55% of students who are bystanders remain passive, refusing to defend the victim nor stand up to the bully.

“Whenever a fight breaks out at school, I try to stay away and ignore it. I do not want to get involved and cause more trouble for myself and others,” Sophomore Emma Li said.

There are various factors that correlate with students who frequently participate in school violence: poor academic performance, poverty and high crime rates in a community. The CDC highlights how students with a history of violence and low-income family backgrounds are more likely to commit violent acts at school.

The impact of school violence on students and staff depends on its severity. Most victims sustain nonfatal injuries such as cuts, scratches, broken bones or bruises. In more serious cases, death could result from school violence. Although these cases are rare, as only 2.6% of all youth homicides taking place at school, a 2016 CDC report reveals that victims often suffer from mental trauma, prompting long-term anxiety and depression.

“School violence significantly affects both students and staff. Therefore, it is crucial to build respect and learn how to appropriately interact with one another,” Assistant Principal of Student Services Sara Mingione said.

With the return to in-person learning, principals from various districts have been reporting an increase in negative behavior at school. To reduce the effect of such violence, schools are starting to implement solutions that can effectively counter them and create a more positive environment. Students can also play their part to reduce school violence by standing up and speaking out when they encounter acts of violence, whether overt or covert, online or in-person.


About the Contributors

Sophia Qin

Page editor

Sophia Qin is a sophomore at Leland High School and the School News page editor for The Charger Account. During her free time, she enjoys to stay in bed watching K-dramas with her dog while eating chips, sleeping, and eating (again).

Ellie Kim


Ellie Kim is a senior at Leland High School and one of the Art Directors for The Charger Account. When she’s not doing schoolwork, she enjoys scrolling through Pinterest, making Spotify playlists, and sleeping.

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