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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/28/2014 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Students and teachers are commonly attacked because of ideologies.

Anyone who has worked as a teacher knows that violence is a potential threat. Today, school shootings occur almost like clockwork as troubled kids and mentally unfit adults sometimes use firearms to perpetrate violence in schools. However, violence in schools isn't just an American problem. In some countries, students and teachers are deliberately targeted. A new study reveals there were nearly 10,000 attacks on schools over the past few years.

A school bombed in Pakistan. Such attacks are common in that country.

A school bombed in Pakistan. Such attacks are common in that country.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/28/2014 (4 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: UN, school, violence, Pakistan, Colombia, teachers, students, terrorists, shootings, bombings


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A UN sponsored study reveals that between 2009 and 2013 there were nearly 10,000 violent attacks on schools, students, and their teachers. Incidentally, this statistic does not include the reports of violence in American schools where the situation is serious, however it is small in comparison to the almost routine violence in other countries.

According to the "Education Under Attack" report, the most dangerous places for education are Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Colombia.

The report makes clear that these students and teachers are not simply caught up in other violence, but rather they are deliberately targeted because they are involved in education.

Education is often viewed as a threat by oppressive elements in societies because education imparts ideas and critical thinking, and those who do not care to have their ideas challenged will do all they can get away with to stop the behavior.

In many countries where lawlessness abides, that means intimidation through violence.

The report cites 9,600 attacks worldwide in 70 different countries. Africa, Asia, and South America were locations where the violence was most common with Pakistan witnessing the greatest number of attacks.

Colombia was the most dangerous place for teachers with 140 of them killed and a tally of death threats in the thousands.

Typically, the attacks are associated with ideology. In Nigeria, Islamic militants killed 29 boys at a boarding school this past week. In Colombia rival gangs and paramilitary groups are the problem. In Iraq, sectarian violence is outright common.

The report also discussed  the use of facilities intended for education as places of imprisonment and even torture. Schools also make ideal training bases for militants. For this reason, the facilities can at times be hijacked and put to evil use.

Other schools in places such as Somalia and Syria, schools have been used as bases for snipers. Conversely, schools have been targeted by heavy weapons fire, including mortar and rocket attacks, while students were still in school.

Of course in the United States, gun violence in schools  remains a concern with multiple firearm assaults per year. The key difference of course, is that the violence in American schools is not motivated by ideology or exacerbated by civil war. Nonetheless, all violence against schools is worthy of alarm and needs to be addressed by the world community.

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