The Consequences Of Immorality On Students

1365 words - 5 pages

One morning in April 1999, the calm was shattered in the town of Littleton, near Denver, Colorado. Two youths in black trench coats entered the local high school and began shooting at students and teachers. They also detonated bombs. The perpetrators, merely 17 and 18 years old ended the massacre by taking their own lives. Regrettably, only after the death of twelve students and a teacher, more than 20 wounded physically, and a nation filled with emotional devastation. This is but one incident fostered by the decline of morality as a whole in society today. Dr. Thomas Plante (2012), a professor of psychology laments, “I don't know about you but I'm amazed at what seems to be considered as acceptable behavior out there...a lack of polite civility often rules the day. This has been true for a long time but it appears to be getting worse...perhaps much worse.” The definition of “morality” as well as whether or not schools are encroaching upon parental responsibility by teaching and promoting it are hot button issues among many today, but facts are facts. The tragedy above and the statistics to follow exemplify the fact; and the fact is the decline in morality has resulted in some very unsettling consequences inside school walls.
Jean Piaget (1932) is among the first of psychologists who embraced the touchy issue of morality, and more specifically, the development of morality in children. To summarize his findings, children’s view of morality undergoes many changes as they age, the most important of these beginning around age ten. Essentially, what Piaget uncovered is that a series of changes occur between the ages of 10 and 12, just when the child begins to enter the general stage of formal operations, and intellectual development continues to develop until at least age sixteen. Therefore, a child’s view of morality is the most influential during the years spent in secondary education. In times past, youths had their hands full just being young. Nowadays, though, they must deal with both the travails of adolescence and the formidable adult pressures of life in the twenty first century. In World Health magazine, Dr. Herbert Friedman penned, “The transition from child to adult has never before taken place in a period of such dramatic change, be it the extraordinary increase in the world’s population, the accelerated urbanization which has accompanied it, and the technological revolutions in communications and travel that have almost overnight created conditions never seen before.” Growing up in these troubled times is not easy. Youths face many new situations and must make weighty decisions, many that they are unprepared to face. Of the countless consequences this has resulted in, one of the most devastating is that of the increase in school violence. In addition to the episode in Colorado, a group of intoxicated teens in Russia brutally murdered a nine-year-old girl and beat up her father and cousin, in Montreal, Canada, an...

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