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Teens who take knives to school

Whilst most parents are worried about their teenager being shot in some random drive-by gang shooting, it is far more likely that they will be injured in a fight where other types of weapons are used. It is a fact that the majority of homeowners who are shot or hurt, have their own weapon used against them; so teenagers who carry knives are most likely to be wounded by their own knife.

When a parent discovers that their teenager has been caught with a knife at school, their first thought is gang involvement, and to a certain extent they may well be correct. Teenagers who are part of gangs are more likely to carry a weapon than those who do not belong to a gang. However, a number of teens say they carry a weapon to protect themselves against other teens with knives.

According to the US National Center for Education Statistics, school violence is a serious problem. In 2007 they conducted a survey amongst high school students which found that 5.9% of students had carried a weapon onto school property at some point in the 30 days preceding the survey. Males were three times more likely to be carrying a weapon than girls. In addition, 7.8% of students reported having been threatened or injured with a weapon at school; the rate was twice as high for boys than girls.

The fear of school violence affects school attendance; 5.5% of students missed at least one day, due to fears for their safety. School staff members are also at risk of violent attacks whilst at school, with between 7% and 10% of teachers threatened, the higher number working at urban schools; five percent of teachers actually attacked and school bus drivers being particular targets for violence. Parents need to talk to their teenager frankly, about the dangers concerning knife carrying. Most school boards will instantly expel a student found with a knife, but there are some students that even teachers are afraid to search or challenge.

The teenager carrying a knife for protection is likely to have that knife turned on them in an attack, and unless they are willing to physically harm somebody, they would not use the knife themselves. Although it may make them feel safe, it is a false security. Parents who discover that teens are carrying knives at their teenagers' school need to make a very loud fuss about it and insist that the school board investigates thoroughly.

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