Preventing Violence in Schools
Brief Facts and Tips on Preventing Violence in Schools
All schools work to prevent school violence and schools are very safe places. Students, staff, and parents all have an important role in promoting school safety. Adults can provide leadership by reassuring students that schools are generally very safe places for children and youth and reiterating what safety measures and student supports are already in place in their schools. Adults can:
- Create a safe, supportive school climate (e.g., school-wide behavioral expectations, caring school climate programs, positive interventions and supports, and psychological and counseling services).
- Encourage students to take responsibility for their part in maintaining safe school environments, including student participation in safety planning.
- Reiterate the school rules and request that students report potential problems to school officials.
- Remind students of the importance of resisting peer pressure to act irresponsibly.
- Create anonymous reporting systems (e.g., student hot lines, suggestion boxes, and “tell an adult” systems).
- Control access to the school building (e.g., designated entrance with all other access points locked from the exterior).
- Monitor school guests.
- Monitor school parking lots and common areas, such as hallways, cafeterias, and playing fields.
- Include the presence of school resource officers, security guards, or local police partnerships.
- Use security systems.
- Develop crisis plans and provide preparedness training to all staff members.
- Develop threat-assessment and risk-assessment procedures and teams for conducting the assessments.
- Hold regular school-preparedness drills (e.g., intruder alerts, weather, fire, lockdown, evacuation).
- Create school-community partnerships to enhance safety measures for students beyond school property.
- Cite school safety incident data. Many school districts have local data that support a declining trend in school violence. When possible, citing local data helps families and students feel more at ease.
- Be a visible, welcoming presence at school, greeting students and parents and visiting classrooms.
- Conduct an annual review of all school safety policies and procedures to ensure that emerging school safety issues are adequately covered in current school crisis plans and emergency response procedures.
- Review communication systems within the school district and with community responders. This should also address how and where parents will be informed in the event of an emergency.
- Highlight violence prevention programs and curricula currently being taught in school. Emphasize the efforts of the school to teach students alternatives to violence including peaceful conflict resolution and positive interpersonal relationship skills.
These tips can be found on www.nasponline.org along with other resources.
Documents that provide all ages with information on how to cope after a disaster/tragedy.
- After the Disaster
- After the Disaster Children & Youth
- Children's Reactions to Disorders
- Common Reaction Older Adults
- Common Reactions to a Critical Incident
- Connecting With Others
- Handling Disaster Related Stress
- Helping Children After the Disaster
- Helping Children Cope with Disasters
- Helping Parents Cope with Disasters
- Managing Your Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting
- Talking to Children About Violence
- Tips for Adult Stress
- Tips for Parents and Children
- Tips for Youth
Local and FEMA resources and documents that provide all ages with information on how to cope after a disaster/tragedy.