(MENAFN - Arab News) A growing culture of violence at schools including the carrying of knives and others weapons by boys and teenagers is starting to worry government officials psychologists and parents.
fighting among students attacks on teachers many of them expatriates have been highlighted on social media sites. they also depict the trauma of impressionable adolescent students witnessing this thuggery.
attempts are now being made to determine what is causing this unhealthy phenomenon including assessing the influence of movies home life and tribal affiliation.
it appears young males carry concealed knives to boast in front of their classmates defend themselves from bullies or settle tribal scores.
'there are several reasons for young people carrying knives and other weapons at school" said ali al-roumi associate professor of social science at imam muhammad university.
al-roumi blamed parents and teachers for not monitoring students. there is also a growing machismo which includes the carrying of arms being encouraged and condoned by society in general he said.
'sometimes parents blame school authorities for the violence among students when they should be looking at how they are bringing up their children" he said.
al-roumi said there is a general attitude among many that perceives violence as part of growing up. this results in people not taking action to deter this behavior by punishing perpetrators.
he said that despite rising cases of violence among schoolchildren in the kingdom there has been little funding allocated for behavioral studies.
al-roumi said schools should ban students from carrying weapons. they should also work closely with the police and commission for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice to enforce this ban with severe penalties for perpetrators. and launch awareness programs about the negative consequences of violent behavior.
al-roumi said the schools should hold life skills and other workshops to teach students how to deal with personal ethnic and tribal conflict which are the causes of most violent incidents.
mansour al-askar an associate professor in the social science department at imam muhammad university said he had sounded alarm bells in a lecture at naif arab university for security sciences a decade ago about the increasing incidence of violence at schools.
in that talk he had blamed the growing thug culture at schools on the influence of western media and movies. 'today's saudi youth carry both their local and international identities" he said. all social institutions should redouble their efforts to combat this trend.
'a non-violent culture starts at home and should be nurtured in schools and mosques. boys should be trained to resolve issues peacefully especially tribal conflict" al-askar said.
he said schools should set up special committees to monitor conflict between teachers and students. the education ministry should work closely with the police to deal with this issue he said.
maj. gen. ali al-tamimi a member of the shoura council's security committee said violence at schools and elsewhere stems from the erosion of religious values in the home environment. young people are often exposed to violent behavior on television.
he said schools must punish students who attack teachers especially non-saudi teachers. he also condemned the brutality of people towards their neighbors and animals and urged parents to ban their children from carrying any kind of weapon. parents should serve as role models for their children he said.
khaled jalban a parent working in the social science department at king khaled university agreed that children growing up in a violent environment often perceive that this is a normal way to resolve issues.
he said communities and families have an important role to play in combating violence among students. government departments and the police should conduct research to find practical solutions for this social menace he said.