Violence in education has seen a surge in school shootings in recent years. Studies and research show that revenge is the prime motivating factor that compels students to shoot at others openly on the school premises. Most of the time, the culprits are victims of bullying or do not value life. Academicians should not take this matter lightly, and it is here that the issue of school shootings needs to be addressed correctly as instances are on the rise.
Harvey Shapiro Boston – School shootings are on the rise
Born in 1952, Harvey Shapiro from Boston is a highly renowned and respected clinical professor at Northeastern University with academic interests in the field of contemporary educational theory, modern Jewish studies, Hebrew literature, philosophy, and politics. He holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion Rhea Hirsch School of Education, the same institution where Harvey Shapiro Boston completed his MA in Jewish Education. He also holds an MS degree from the University of Southern California, and he completed his BA in History from The University of Minnesota. He has also studied Jewish History and Political Science at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.
Addressing the issue of school shootings
He has also written books on education, especially when it comes to violence prevalent in schools. He says that a lot of discourse has been given on school shootings in his publications to create a binary separation between what should be considered normal and what should be exceptional between the expected course of events created by humans and socio-historical aberrations.
Need for new responses to school violence events
He says that there is an urgent need for a new direction in the responses to them when it comes to school shootings. He has displayed how these responses to a school shooting tend to paradoxically dismiss specific types of violence to articulate the vision of the individual as a sovereign that exerts power over another human, removing themselves from conversations that need to be held in the community. He cites the example of “sovereign exception,” a term that has been used by Giorgio Agamben and other esteemed figures with regard to the above context.
Secondly, he suggests how Agamben developed the concept of “divine violence” by Walter Benjamin to uncover the present state of exceptions that inform the efforts of an educational body to challenge the factors of good with evil, individual with community, justice with law, urban with suburban and normal with exceptional to confound the deliberations that impact the long-term response to violence and mass shootings in educational institutions.
Harvey Shapiro Boston says that shootings at schools do not mean they are unsafe for students. It is the need of the hour for teachers to look out for distress signs and signals in students. There are instances where the student might witness physical abuse or violence at home. This causes them to bring their problems to school and, at the slightest provocation, invokes them to pull out a gun and shoot. There are other signs to look out for, and here school authorities and teachers should join hands to curb violence and address student problems with the right response.