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Social media, lack of discipline in schools play role in Baltimore’s gun violence | READER COMMENTARY

Investigators with the Baltimore Police Department stand among evidence including backpacks, strewn about at the scene of a fatal shooting of a student in Joseph E. Lee Park, just west of Patterson High School on Monday, March 6, 2023. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)

Gun violence is a persistent problem that plagues many cities in the United States, and Baltimore is no exception. Shockingly, almost one in three people shot in 2023 were 18 or younger. This disturbing trend is further exacerbated by the fact that gun violence is flaring up near schools in the city (”Student grazed by bullet near East Baltimore high school; mayor says ‘much more work to be done’ to cut youth violence,” March 15). This raises the question: What is causing this alarming trend?

One factor that has been implicated in the rise of gun violence among teenagers is social media. While social media can be a powerful tool for connecting people, it can also be a breeding ground for conflict and aggression. Teens are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of social media, as they are still developing their sense of self and are more susceptible to peer pressure.


Research has shown that there is a correlation between social media use and teen violence. Exposure to violent content on social media can desensitize young people to violence, making it seem more acceptable. Moreover, cyberbullying and online harassment can lead to feelings of isolation and anxiety which can contribute to mental health problems.

Another factor that is contributing to the rise of gun violence in Baltimore is the lack of a clear code of conduct in schools. While many schools have rules and regulations in place, these codes of conduct vary widely from school to school. Some schools have strict discipline policies while others have more relaxed policies that allow students to misbehave without consequences.


The lack of a consistent approach to discipline can lead to confusion among students and make it difficult for teachers and administrators to maintain order. Students who are not held accountable for their actions may be more likely to engage in disruptive behavior, including violence.

To address this problem, schools need to adopt a more uniform approach to discipline. This could involve developing a clear code of conduct that is enforced consistently across all schools in the district. Additionally, schools should invest in training for teachers and administrators on how to identify and address disruptive behavior.

Finally, it is important to recognize that the root causes of gun violence are complex and multifaceted. While social media and a lack of discipline in schools may be contributing factors, there are likely many other underlying issues that need to be addressed, such as poverty, racism, and access to mental health services.

In conclusion, the rise of gun violence among teenagers in Baltimore is a serious problem that requires urgent attention. While social media and a lack of discipline in schools may be contributing factors, it is important to take a holistic approach to addressing this issue. By working together, we can create a safer and more just society for everyone.

— Genesis Rosales, Baltimore

The writer is an educator in Baltimore City.

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