Recent incidents of school violence in America's schools have sent shockwaves across the globe. In the aftermath of each tragedy, everyone has been left to wonder why such an atrocity has taken place. Experts have tried to answer that question, but there appear to be several reasons for escalating school violence. The purpose of this research is to begin an inquiry into some of the main reasons of school violence. Most people would be alarmed to know that one in 12 high school students is threatened or injured with a weapon while at school each year (American Psychological Association, 2002). The first step to preventing violence in our schools may be an understanding of these causes and the possible warning signs of future violence in our schools.
One cause which has been talked about is the influences of children witnessing violent acts on television and in other media, such as video games, music, and movies. Kreiner (1996) details many of the studies and points to television and "certain programs and movies which tell viewers that violence is okay- (p. 26). Kreiner goes on to state that even television cartoons depict violence in a humorous way and that the consequences of such acts are never addressed realistically, in that characters often return to action in the next episode. Kenny, the character from South Park is such an example, in that he is killed in every episode "except at Christmas "and he returns each week as if nothing has happened. .
Another source of exposure to violence, according to Kreiner, is video games. Today's hottest-selling video games are the ones depicting violent acts with almost no consequences. Examples of this are the Grand Theft Auto series of games made for Playstation by Sony. Even though they are rated for mature users, teens have little trouble finding an opportunity to play games where consequences are almost always never shown.