There is a growing trend of violence in public schools in Brazil, and unfortunately things seem to be getting worse. The tragic shooting in a school in Rio de Janeiro in April was by far the worst example, and this was Brazil's first ever mass killing in a school. There is a growing trend of bullying in the public schools, as well as fighting and other incidents.
In the last month alone in Santos, there have been 4 incidents of bullying, fights, or other types of problems in the local newspaper. Bullying is becoming a serious problem in the schools, and this could lead to other larger incidents later on. In a municipal school that we will be speaking in next month, a 14 year old girl was nearly injured when another girl put a small "bomb" in her backpack and it exploded. Her books and school materials were destroyed, but fortunately she was not injured.
Many students here come from broken homes, and there are many problems in the families such as abuse, or drugs, or alcoholism,... The schools have their hands full, and many are open to receiving help from the outside. One of the churches we work with has a new program to try to help with the bullying problem. We are hoping and praying that as we introduce students to Jesus through our "Qualidade De Vida" (Quality Of Life) project, that He will bring spiritual and emotional healing, and that He will make a great difference in their lives, and in the schools, and in the communities. There is great hope in Jesus, and thankfully many students and people here are open to hearing the Gospel and to receiving Him as their Lord and Savior.