Unlike the usual stresses and conflicts that are a part of everyday life at home and at work, acute crisis episodes frequently overwhelm traditional human coping skills and result in dysfunctional behavior. This creates a state of disequilibrium that results in intense fears and highly anxious states (Stephens, R. D., 1994).
There is growing awareness by school administrators that school violence could occur at their school. Planning and preparation will be necessary to manage those crises and to attend to the emotional as well as physical needs of staff and students. School administrators have a tendency to underestimate the initial and long-term impact of trauma. Children's reactions to trauma, however, would not be impacted by this underplay, and they would typically fall into the following key areas, fear of the future, academic regression, behavioral regression, nightmares and sleeping difficulties. Teachers and parents who are provided with emotional support and who are educated on children's typical reactions to trauma will be much better prepared to assist their students and children. These violent tragedies would not affect the children only, since the school population of students also comprises of adolescents. Adolescents, in particular, who have been traumatized, are more at risk for depression, suicide, reckless behavior, and substance abuse. This population demands help to cope up with the disaster or the trauma from the violence. Unfortunately, the mental health services provided by professionals in schools are extremely inadequate (Canada, M. et al., 2007).
The CDC reports that 15% of the male students are involved in physical altercations, and males are more likely to fight on school property. Students in lower grades, ninth grade and below, are more likely to be in a fight on school property than students in higher grades. Assaults against teachers are a form of school violence that needs serious attention. Bullying, which has become a serious concern as of late, may include relatively benign forms of social interactions or may even include more serious forms which threaten bodily harm (Poland, S., 2003).
School shootings are significant in that they get publicized, and many students are indirectly affected with such a tragedy, and this needs to invoke coping skills to survive the trauma. Literature is sparse in this area, and in 1993, Lockwood had a study done on middle and high school students. This study examined the reasons for, and circumstances of, violence at school in this age group. The findings are significant. The first finding revealed that most violence was the results of minor insults or altercations that escalated until it resulted in extreme violence. The major goal of the violence was revenge or retribution for the insult. Most students polled in this study stated that such use of violence for retribution was morally acceptable and was not considered to be an indication that the violent student had an absence of values (Lockwood, A. T. 1993). This is a matter of concern, and this immediately points to moral values that act as etiologic agents for such incidents. Examination of all shootings between 1996 and 1999 reveals a pattern. The shooters are all male. This is not inconsistent with the majority of