Youth on violence: Reasons for violence gives clues to preventing it

August 12, 2012 

Lacey Pyle

When discussing teen violence, it is important to consider the different influences that initiate this type of behavior. They fall into four categories, called the 4 R's: resentment, retreat, rebellion and revenge.

Resentment comes about when a child feels as if he or she has been treated unfairly by teachers, parents or peers.

Talking to my peers, I have found that some feel that being ignored in the classroom by teachers or other students has caused them to resent going to class. Resentment can then lead to retreat because once a child feels ignored, she prefers not to participate in the activities where she experiences this exclusion.

When a student retreats, she withdraws from classroom or social activities, which can lead to feeling lonely or depressed, possibly leading to violent behavior.

Rebellion can be exhibited in many different ways, such as violence, drug use or purposely failing in school.

Last, a student feels the need for revenge. This is when a student resorts to intentionally hurting others, damaging property or humiliating those who have caused her pain.

Since students are split between school and parents, both parties should be doing their part to protect against these behaviors. Although the school system has discipline, punishment can go only so far without parental involvement.

Friends can also help by making sure that the problem is talked about and not displayed in a violent manner.

Teachers, parents and friends should remember the four healthy R's when dealing with a teen who could possibly be violent: reveal, reason, relate and respect.

Reveal means communicating about a punishment ahead of time so a student does not act out.

Reason is talking to a child about punishment in a logical way or coming up with a logical way to include everybody in the classroom

Relate means identifying the problem to a student so he will understand it. Respect a child and the child will respect you back. The key to respect is to not humiliate, because that leads to resentment and revenge.

Parents need to be involved in the school's punishment by furthering the school discipline in the home. Make sure you communicate with your kids, because communication can create a stronger bond for tomorrow.

Lacey Pyle, 17, from Tates Creek High School, is involved with organizations that help foster children and children with AIDS.

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