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What are the Effects of School Violence on Families?

By Jennifer Byrne ; Updated June 13, 2017

School violence is a traumatic occurrence that touches students, teachers, parents and society at large. When violence occurs in your child's school, your child will likely be affected, whether or not she is directly victimized. Although much publicity in recent years has centered around school shootings and fatal violence, children are also affected by lesser forms of violence at school, reports Modern Mom. Because your child is your family's link to the world of school and school violence, it is likely that his traumas and burdens will be at the core of this issue as it affects your family.

Anxiety disorders

Some degree of anxiety after an episode of school violence is normal and expected in your child and, consequently, in your family. According to the NYU Child Study Center's About Our Kids website, anxiety becomes a problem when it persistently interferes with your child's daily life. If your child is so terrified of future disasters or being separated from you for any length of time, it may be wise to seek help.

Anger and Aggression

One particularly tragic consequence of school violence is that it tends to breed more violence. A child who has been a victim of school violence or has witnessed it may harbor anger and fantasies of revenge. According to Modern Mom, teachers only intervene in 4 percent of bullying incidents, and this may lead your child to become angry. If it isn't addressed, your child's anger is almost certain to affect his relationship with you, and may interfere with his psychological and social development.

Shame

Children who have been subjected to bullying or other forms of violence or abuse at school are often ashamed of themselves, reports Modern Mom. This shame at being singled out and "allowing" the abuse to occur often prevents a child from telling an adult or family member about the problem. Shame resulting from school violence or bullying often has a severe and negative effect on self-esteem, and may lead to acting out and even suicidal behavior. You may notice an increased difficulty in communicating with your child.

Depression

Depression may coexist with any of the above effects, and is another common result of violent trauma at school. The NYU Child Study Center notes that in younger children, depression may not be as clearly observed as it is in adults. For example, depressed kids don't necessarily seem "sad" for extended periods of time as do adults. Instead, they may seem restless, irritable, easily bored or withdrawn from other children.

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