Whether public or private, unfortunately, the rate of violence is schools is escalating. "School violence exists along a lengthy continuum, at one end marked by minor incidents involving everyday fighting, name-calling, bullying, and minor property destruction and at the other end marked by extortion, rape, homicide, and mass murder." (Gerler and Gerler, 2004, pg. xxxii)
To asses the current problem of violence in schools it is necessary to know how big the problem is. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation the statistics for violence in schools and colleges reveals that "Of the 17,065,074 incidents reported through the NIBRS by law enforcement from 2000 to 2004, 558,219 (3.3 percent) occurred at schools." (Noonan and Vavra, 2007) The most offenders belonged to the 13 to 15 age group and the next highest number of offenders was in the 16 to 18 age group. "By looking at only those offenders for whom the age was known, offenders 18 years of age or younger were 4.5 times more likely to be involved in crime at schools than older offenders." (Noonan and Vavra, 2007) Looking at offenders according to gender it was presented that males were more likely to be offenders than females at a 3.3 ratio. In categorizing according to by race, "white offenders accounted for 71.1 percent (280,178); black offenders, 27.4 percent (107,878); and all other races combined, less than 2 percent (6,117)." (Noonan and Vavra, 2007) Another factor important in understanding the reason why these crimes exist is to examine 'victim-to-offender relationship'. "By far, the relationship type most often reported for crime in schools was Acquaintance, with 107,533 instances occurring during the 5-year study period." (Noonan and Vavra, 2007)
All of these statistics combined give us perspective into the current problem of why school violence takes place. It helps us target middle school and high school going children as the group of people who need most attention in battling this type of violence. It also reveals pertinent facts related to gender, race and relationship issues when violence is inflicted.
Recently, the issue of violence in school has been getting a lot of attention from the media. The first big incident related to school violence committed by the generation Y's is Columbine where two students went around on a shooting rampage killing about 13 students and a teacher. The incident kindled a huge debate over the use of guns in America and became the inspiration for director Michael Moore documentary Bowling for Columbine. According to psychologist Arnold Lazarus violence occurs due to several reasons once of which is behavior. This aspect of his theory discusses the fact that certain kinds of behavior receive attention. "Extraordinary misbehavior, for example, often elicits significant attention from peers, from teachers and school administrators, and -in especially noteworthy cases- from the media." (Gerler and Gerler, 2004)On the other side of the coin, accomplishments in academia are sometimes not given as much importance. In other words, although school accomplishments get attention they are