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Evaluation essay topics: Aggression and violence in public schools
Aggression is believed to be a normal condition for children of school age, but sometimes it turns into the violence in public schools: against classmates or teachers. For instance, in March 2005, a 16-year-old student killed seven people and wounded 13 schoolmates in Minnesota. In mid-April 2005 a 16-year old special class student was sexually assaulted by a group of high school boys and girls, who were his coevals. Moreover, school violence and aggression include verbal offense, blackmail and battering. Some critics assert that 12-13-year-olds should be accountable for their actions, whereas others view the war on school violence as purely pedagogic responsibility.
Major thesis statements:
1) School fights are an aspect of stern, but useful, school of life, which allow individuals to protect themselves in the future.
2) The main problem of juvenile crime is a low awareness of one's own wrongdoing, so students cannot be charged for their actions.
3) Most violent acts at schools are committed by teachers, but remain unreported.
4) School violence simply points to the fact that contemporary teenagers have no useful activities to engage into, so both parents and teachers should work on planning the students' out-of-school time.
5) School violence is associated with morality crisis, since in Catholic educational institutions such cases are comparatively rarer.
Primary issues to discuss:
1) Does school violence really exist? Provide the related statistical data. Compare current indicators to those which were estimated 5 and 10 years ago. Can you see any positive/negative dynamics?
2) Is school violence likely to grow into juvenile crime?
3) Is school violence dangerous in terms of the children's further socialization? Are they likely to believe firmly in the impunity of school violence?
4) Discuss the copycat effect in school violence. Is it likely to survive in the perpetuators' and victims' adulthood?
1) Cantor, D. A closer look at drug and violence prevention efforts in American schools: report on the study of school violence and prevention, 2002 [Prepared for U.S. Department of Education]. Available online at: http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS24085
2) Coleman, L. The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's headlines. Paraview Pocket Books, Simon and Schuster, 2004.
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Selected topics for evaluation essay were split into two categories:
School and university issues
Suppression of arts and humanities
The importance of sex education
The availability of education
Aggression and violence
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