Psychological, Social & Physical Impact Of School Violence On Children

Last Update on February 10, 2022 : Published on February 8, 2022
School Violence

School violence is not a new thing that has suddenly started to surface. The existence of violence in school can be traced back to the origin of our institutionalized education system. Our parents have witnessed school violence (to say the least), we have and if effective measures are not taken our children will witness school violence too.

It’s unfair to completely depend on the system to find solutions to our problem and have them implement some laws. It’s time we take things in our hands and protect our children from witnessing school violence.

To do so you need to first understand how violence in school affects our children. The wound can be treated only when you know where you are hurt. You need to learn about the effect of school violence on your child. Is it having a psychological impact on them or is it physical or social?

But, First…

What Is Violence In School?

School violence can be defined as the violence that takes place in the premises of a school, on the way to school and on the way back from school. School violence can be committed by fellow students, teachers or other school staff.

There are different types of school violence that your child can be subjected to:

  1. Physical violence
  2. Psychological violence
  3. Sexual violence
  4. Bullying
  5. cyberbullying

What Is The Effect Of Violence In School On Children?

What Is The Effect Of Violence In School On Children

Each child is different and when children are subjected to different types of violence, the effect of it all is also very different. In most cases the mind and the body both are impacted by witnessing or experiencing violence in school.

Your child can be impacted in three ways:

  1. Psychological effect of school violence,
  2. Social effect of school violence &
  3. Physical effect of school violence.

A child’s mind is very, very tender. If they experience violence in school they are most likely to be affected in all three ways. The body language changes, the stress of violence in school starts to weigh them down and in most cases children choose to alienate themselves.

Advice – Make sure you maintain a healthy, friendly & open relationship with your children. They should feel comfortable talking to you about anything at all. Sometimes children keep suffering alone because their parents have not given them the space to talk about their feelings.

Let’s look at each effect of school violence on children in detail…

Psychological Effect Of School Violence On Children

Psychological Effect Of School Violence On Children

When a child witnesses or experiences violence in school they are in shock, to begin with. They came to school thinking it is a safe place for them to learn, grow and develop with their fellow students. Little did they know that they will have to face challenges that are beyond their capacity?

Our children’s tender minds are corrupted by the violence they witness or experience in school. Their thought process changes completely. They become psychologically distressed. This psychological distress can host multiple mental health illnesses.

Here are a few psychological effects of school violence

  • Children become stressed
  • Develop psychological conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.
  • They develop toxic shame
  • They can also develop attachment disorders
  • They can suffer from cognitive impairment
  • May develop maladaptive coping strategies like substance abuse

Social Effect Of School Violence On Children

Social Effect Of School Violence On Children

Our society plays a vital role in our child’s life. The school itself is a social environment where the child is subjected to violence and is forced to survive among those hungry wolves. We are all social beings and how society looks at us affects us a lot.

Children who experience school violence are not really fond of social gatherings or people in general. Unfortunately, we are all wired in such a way that if we are subjected to violence, we instantly start to feel shame and guilt. That’s so wrong, it should be the other way round.

Anyway, that will change only when you do it first! Like charity, change begins at home too.

Let’s look at some social impact of school violence on children…

Physical Impact Of School Violence On Children

Physical Impact Of School Violence On Children

Physical violence is one of the most commonly committed acts of violence in schools. We hear so many stories of boys (usually) fighting like animals or a senior thrashing a junior only because juniors had rolled their sleeves.

In fact when I was in school we couldn’t cross our seniors, we could sit on tables they usually sit on, we couldn’t look them in the eye, etc. these might sound silly but are acts of school violence. Well, there was bullying in my school but it ended there, did not come to physical violence.

In many schools breach of the rules set by some students did lead to physical violence and we all know how that turns out.

Here are some examples of the physical impact of school violence…

  • The posture of children changes
  • The body language becomes miser like
  • There are wounds, fracture, bruises, etc. because of close arm combat
  • Long-term physical disabilities
  • Homicide or suicide
  • Temporary or permanent physical damage

Impact Of School Violence On Academic Performance

A child’s academic performance is a reflection of their interaction, comprehension and experience in the school environment. Because of violence in the school all three are hindered and the mindset of the child is completely changed.

Children begin to fear going to school. They can’t concentrate on their studies because they are preoccupied by various disturbing thoughts of the violence they go through in school. In most cases academics suffer when a child has different things to worry about.

Here’s how the academics suffer…

  • Confidence declines
  • There’s no concentration in class
  • Tendency to skip school increases
  • Intelligence quotient is reduced
  • Can’t comprehend lessons in class
  • Scores low grades in tests
  • Ignore opportunities of growth and development

How To Stop School Violence

School violence can have a long lasting impact on your children. It is very, very important for us to take preventive measures to reduce violence in school. By now you know how a child is impacted by school violence psychologically, physically and socially. 

It’s time we start looking for ways to stop school violence. Here are a few things that you can try…

A. Keep communication open: talking to you children is very important. Make sure you develop such a bond with your child that they feel comfortable in talking to you about anything. 

B. Set some rules & be consistent: teach your children to be in limit. They should know where to draw the line. This is very important for children who exhibit violence in school. Teach them healthy coping mechanisms, anger management skills, etc. 

C. Keep a check on your child’s actions and behavior: if your child is experiencing violence in school there will be some warning signs. Look for sudden changes in behavior, see if they have alienated themselves, quit things they usually enjoyed, poor academic performance, etc. 

D. Know when & where to intervene: children may not be as wise as their parents and when things start to go downhill, it’s time you step in and take the matter into your own hands. Sometimes children don’t realize that they need help. 

E. Be involved in your child’s school activities: know what’s happening in the school, talk to their teachers and visit the school whenever you are called. Take chaperoning charges for school events so that you can observe your child in a school environment.

F. Be a part of the school’s violence prevention coalition: helping the school in eliminating violence within the premises is the least you can do for your children.

G. Organize a violence prevention committee of your own: what will be more better that all the members of the community/society/locality coming together to work towards ending violence?

H. Influence the lawmakers: make sure that lawmakers understand the gravity of this situation. Help the lawmakers implement laws against school violence so that it can be effectively curbed. 

I. Get professional help: If your child is suffering and the damage of school violence has already been done, you need to try and repair the damage. Getting your child therapeutic support at this time will be best for them.

Want to book a therapy session for your teen? Do it now, in just one click!

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Things To Consider!

Violence in school affects a lot of children. It’s our duty to make our children feel safe wherever they go. It’s very important that we teach our children to report school violence whenever they witness or experience one.

Let’s teach our children to stand up against bullies and let’s teach ourselves to pay close attention to each child in school. Identifying and recognizing school violence is the first step towards protecting all children from school violence.

I hope you found this blog helpful. Do share this blog with all children and parents so that we can all understand the gravity of this situation. School violence has ruined my life. Let’s not make our children suffer the same fate.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe

About The Author

Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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