An evil eye for a grimace, the shouting of malicious words for glaring stares from a classmate and a uncalled-for swift kick to the keister for stealing the boyfriend of the most popular girl in school. Teen girls have begun to develop violent tendencies throughout the nation’s schools. It is a growing trend that is causing a spike in the amount of girl fights that are being spotlighted on Youtube’s “Videos being watched right now.”
Talk shows like the Maury Show and Dr. Phil, news reports and now, videos across the Internet are narrowing down on the disturbing trend of teen violence among young girls.
As far back as 1999 it was reported that teenage girls were conducting one out of four violent episodes. Ten years ago the reports showed that one girl to every 10 boys was likely to commit a violent act.
In Boston, Mass. the Dorchester District Court released information there was an increase from 120 girls in 2000 that were arrested for violent crimes up to 196 in 2004. For all crimes the numbers jumped even higher, from 197 to 320.
Despite the figures of violence that exist within Boston, the Radnor-Norristown, Pa. area seems to be under control in the issue of teen violence.
John Doyle, former senior English teacher and English department chair, has been working with Norristown High School students for 15 years. He is currently the director of the communication center at the district TV station.
Doyle says that there has not been a significant issue of physical teen violence since the early 2000s. “As a result we received a new principal whose mission in the beginning was to secure the school and the school climate. His enforcement strategy has worked.”
Like in many other areas, the issue of verbal violence has been on the rise. Doyle said, “The tone of the student body is still often negative, but the feeling of a real threat between teens has decreased in the building.”
The issue’s presence has even been introduced into the pop culture of today’s youth. Doyle said, “Additionally, the media today has created a pervasive tone that violence is an acceptable and even entertaining or dignifying response to others. Programs like The Hills, The Real world, America’s Next Top Model, etc., are geared toward young people and have strong influence in this way. This entertainment role modeling is the experience they have for problem solving.”
Guidance counselors, along with teachers, are combating teen violence by promoting after-school programs and watching for signs of abuse. The counselors look out for significant changes of behavior from the students, offer counseling to students with a history of violence and also serve as guides for colleges to prevent students who are mentally unstable from attending those institutions.
Cabrini as a whole has their own specific policy regarding future students at the school.
Charles Spencer, director of admissions at Cabrini, explained the process of how transfer students and prospective new students to Cabrini are accepted. He said, “Transfer students need to be recommended by their former college’s dean, adviser or president. All colleges I know don’t have a big check and balance. It takes too much time and money. However, I feel that we shouldn’t do it. Guidance counselors will volunteer their input making up for not having a background check.”
In order to keep schools safe, Cabrini and Norristown have implemented emergency plans. Spencer said, “I think that schools have learned a lot from tragedies like Virginia Tech. There are better systems set up.”
When asked about whether or not Doyle thought society was becoming too violent, he said, “Becoming is the wrong word. We are and have been too violent for much of our species’ existence.”