It is not the gun problem, but we are the problem and until we admit that the changes come within, the problem will not be solved, or at least be diminished, and the violence continues. As the recent gun discovery in one of the Roanoke City schools should not be a surprise, the school superintendent has called everyone to be involved in their children’s lives to prevent such an incident to keep the safety and the security of schools in place. The problems are beyond the superintendent’s call, and the entire Roanoke City is facing problems which are gun shooting and violence.
In general, addressing Roanoke City’s problems will not provide solutions, and the schools will experience situations that harm children and youth, and there will be blame on each other without pointing out the core problems and reasons of arising these incidents. Obviously, involving parents and guardians in children’s daily activities is important, also, believing that it is an obligation to be involved in their lives, but the problem in most cases is us, the parents and guardians. The lifestyles and the environment that we live in are affecting the children; advising parents to have a role in their children’s lives cannot be as simple as advised, and the families’ lifestyles control the behaviors and characters of the children, and hence, contribute to their actions.
As the violence and hostility have become pervasive in Roanoke with gun finding in one of its schools, and, unfortunately, it is a step away from a catastrophe for many families and children, it should be realized that providing a safe school environment begins with safer City, community, neighborhood, and family. Exposure to neighborhood violence and crimes would affect students academically and mentally, and can lead to a hostile environment and aggressive students, or it might cause anxiety and depression for students.(www.asanet.org. Neighborhood Violence, Peer Effects, and Academic).Therefore, experiencing problems in a school is a reflection of the neighborhood which is parts of the City, and without solving the problems in the City, the school remains under the effect of the neighborhood crime.
It is not an easy step to take actions to prevent violence spillover into schools by calling and educating people through meeting and flyers only, the influence of the families on the children is more significant, but the problem that will be encountered is the type of such influence. Broken families, single parents, and living in disadvantaged areas and neighborhoods can contribute to a negative influence and, hence, to violent children and youths. Roanoke City and the school administration should not ignore the issues that impact the safety of children. To build a plan to shift Roanoke and its schools and creates a safe environment for children, it must start from changing the subculture of the project housing, brake down the mentality of aggressiveness, violence, and non-toleration, and advocate religious involvement as studies showed the importance of such a practice in youths lives.(www.eurekalert.org. News briefs from the American Sociological Review EurekAlert).
The politics in Roanoke has not become a factor to assist the citizens of the City, and the schools are not immune from this political game, to see the problems and understand the needs of people, is to drive through some of Roanoke’s neighborhoods and observe the lifestyle, the agitation, and the poverty of people.
Serwan Zangana / Roanoke