School and Workplace Violence
Violence in schools and at workplaces is a common incidence in the American community.They are indeed a major threat to the guarantee of health and safety security in these crucial institutions of our nation’s economy.There are a number of events which can lead to school or workplace violence such as unfavorable environmental and interpersonal relationships between mates (Anthony, 2000).
Just like any other act of violence in the community, law enforcement agencies are bound to safe the life of the victims and arrest the offender for interrogation.
Due to our nation’s concern for the sustainable safety of the people, many rules, regulations, and practices have been developed to mitigate the problem. This essay is written as a discussion on school and workplace violence. The author identifies the events, facts and those involved in violence as well as how law enforcement respond to such incidences. A discussion on changes that have been made by those made by the institutions affected by violence incidents is also given.
Workplace or school violence has been defined as any act of violence physical or psychological that as the end result of compromising the health and/or safety security of the victims (Rugala, 2003). Therefore, workplace and school violence encompasses; physical or threat of physical violence, harassment, and even intimidation. However, the most common form of violence is homicide (Kelleher, 1996). According to available statistics, such incidences can affect or involve staff, students (workers), and visitors. There are a number of events which can lead to violence at workplace or schools.
First are poor interpersonal relations among individuals (Anthony, 2000). Understanding and appreciating others in a society is an important factor in the realization of sustainable relationships. Just to be stated here is the fact that different people have different worldviews as well as different ways of reacting to issues and circumstances. However, strong interpersonal relations serve to control risks of overreaction by enhancing communication (Anthony, 2000). Therefore, lack effective interpersonal relationships can lead to violence.
Another event that can lead to violence is peer influence (Hunt, 2010). According to available research findings, most incidents of violence among students or workers are influence by groupthink mentality (Hunt, 2010). Just to be stated here is the fact the association can have the psychological impact of compromising individual reasoning and judgmental ability. Discriminative behavior can also cause violence. School of workplace bullying based on race, social-economic and personality are cited as having a major role in causing violence (Wodarski, Roberts & Rapp-Paglicci, 2002).
This is because they can result to stress and depression on the victims, thus resulting into revenge mentality. School and workplace violence is marked with numerous facts. First, they threaten the health and safety of those involved. Homicide is the leading cause of fatal injuries in schools and workplace (Hunt, 2010). Such include school or workplace shootings and/or stabbing. Therefore, violence in such institutions can be attributed to prior threats rather than instantaneous reactions. It is due to this reason that threat assessment is found to be a crucial tool for preventing violence.
Another fact is that most incidents of violence are caused by lack of proper institutional policies (Wodarski, Roberts & Rapp-Paglicci, 2002). Violence like harassment and intimidation are common between management and staff or students. Just to be noted is that the management must serve as a role model for the other members of the organization. Therefore, failing to ensuring respect for the personality, ethnical and cultural diversity in the organization evidently serves to influence workers and/or students negatively.
According to statistic on incidents of school and workplace violence, most of the cases involve indoor members (Rugala, 2003). This has been closely attributed to the fact that it is in the institution where conflict among members can be more pronounced. Based on this, most offenders on incidents of homicide are students or workers (Rugala, 2003). On the other hand, in incidents of harassment and intimidation, the common offenders are the institutional managers such as teachers and company managers (Kelleher, 1996).
This is closely attributed to misuse of power by instituting oppressive or discriminative behaviors towards certain members. Visitors are also common offenders particularly for homicide incidents but can also be victims of intimidation and harassment by members of the organization (Rugala, 2003). It is the sole purpose of the law enforcement agents to ensure the rule of law in the society. Incidents of school and workplace violence particularly homicide and assault are legally regarded as criminal offenses (Rugala, 2003).
Therefore, the initial response by law enforcement is usually to intervene to save the life of the victim and arrest the offender for interrogation (Wodarski, Roberts & Rapp-Paglicci, 2002). This is important not only in mitigating further health and safety harm to the victims but also for setting the initial step towards the realization of justice for the incident. However, the process of realizing justice for violence incident requires adequate investigations not only to collect evidence for criminal charges against the offenders but also to seek lasting solutions to such incidents in the institution (Rugala, 2003).
This is why law enforcement engages with members for establishing how, why and who were involved in the incidents. Still, since some incidents occur without the presence of law enforcement agents, the process of investigation can involve forensic crime analysis. This is mainly used as a technical way of qualifying evidence given by witnesses of the incident thus enhancing its admissibility during prosecution. Incidents of school and workplace violence have evidently led to many changes to those affected.
First, the government, as the sole custodian of the people, has engaged in the development of effective rules and regulations for enhancing workplace and school safety (Anthony, 2000). Such actions by the government have led to the founding of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) which seeks to educate institutions on the importance of having an environment free of violence for workers (Wodarski, Roberts & Rapp-Paglicci, 2002). On the side of law enforcement, incident prone zones are usually marked with presence of police as a measure of ensuring fast and effective response to acts of violence.
Another change is that most organizations respond to violence incidents by sucking the offender and developing anti-violence policies. Creating awareness among the parties involved in an institution is quite important (Anthony, 2000). Therefore, most of these anti-violence policies by organization are mainly tailored to advice people of how to identify and report or prevent violence threat incidents. An example is the requirement for training employees to be resources of the Employee Assistance Program (Anthony, 2000).
In conclusion school and workplace violence incidents are evidently preventable mainly due to their predictable nature (Rugala, 2003). It is due to this reason that all stakeholders should cooperate in the identification and finding viable solutions to the problem. Such an effective strategy should involve creation of awareness and development of stiffer rules and regulation to govern school and workplace conduct. Still important is that institutions should engage in efforts for establishing an anti-violence corporate culture for the sustainable future of school and workplace safety.
Anthony, B. (2000). Violence in the Workplace. A Prevention and Management Guide for Business. Oxnard, CA: Pathfinder Publishing. Inc.
Hunt, O. (2010). School and Workplace Violence. Retrieved March 27, 2010, from http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/204655/careers_and_job_hunting/school_and_workplace_violence.html
Kelleher, M. (1996). New Arenas for Violence: Homicide in the American Workplace. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Rugala, E. (2003). Work Place Violence: Issue in Response. Retrieved March 27, 2010, from http://www.fbi.gov/publications/violence.pdf
Wodarski, J., Roberts, A., & Rapp-Paglicci, L. (2002). Handbook of Violence. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Inc.