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Roots of student violence linked to home & school – ‘Deal with iron hand to quell misbehaviour’

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 5, (KUNA): Student violence is a universal phenomenon found in most societies and Kuwait is no exception and facing it is not only the responsibility of the school exclusively but that of the home as well, said Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Bader Al- Eissa.

In remarks to KUNA on Wednesday, he said the family environment and peer pressure lead some students to exercise various manifestations of what has become known as student violence.

The best way to deal with that kind of violence, he affirmed, is to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those students who resort to violence as an acceptable form of behavior. Already schools deal with violent students in their own way but it is not enough, he said, noting that schools may expel violent students or deprive them from taking exams.

Some schools refer them to school social workers or psychologists who may be able to help these unruly students. He said that addressing student violence requires the cooperation of the school, home, and some societal organizations and that with such cooperation the phenomenon can be rolled back if not eliminated.

A psychologist working for the educational district of Al-Ahmadi, Mohammad Al-Saqer, reemphasized the role of the home in equipping students with the values of good citizenship, embodied in respecting others, being tolerant of others and eschewing bad behavior no matter what it is and no matter what others think.

In his opinion, bad behavior involves smoking and using drugs, among other things, noting that many parents are not capable of facing the ugly truth about their kids being drug addicts. Student violence and bad behavior often result from students being the products of broken homes, where they may be exposed to violent scenes involving their parents and other extended members of the family, said Professor of Clinical Psychology at Kuwait University Dr Fatma Ayad. She is of the opinion that some student violence can be imputed to the fact that a large number of students, especially teenagers, are packed into the crowded space of a school where friction becomes possible.

She blamed some school administrations for not taking seriously complaints by students aggrieved against by trouble-making students.

The aggrieved often, frustrated by the inaction of the administration, take matters into their own hands and wreak violence on the trouble-making students. A report of the phenomenon of student violence, fostered by the State Ministry of Youth Affairs, made a number of recommendations to deal with this phenomenon, based primarily on the notions that the role of the social workers in school should be bolstered and that of the parentteacher councils as well.

The recommendations also encouraged more student non-curricula activities in schools such as artistic or athletic ones. To be sure, student violence, be that in the guise of physical or verbal abuse, is a ubiquitous phenomenon that has attracted the attention of the upper echelons of numerous government agencies and ministries who seek to find permanent solutions for it, since it affects the largest sector of the population, that being the youth.

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