Organizations That Work To Curb and Prevent School Violence
When it comes to school violence, there are many myths perpetuated by the media. While it is common to hear news coverage and other propaganda that seems to indicate teachers and administrators have lost control of the schools - statistics by the FBI, U.S. Board of Education, and even the Secret Service indicate that violence in schools is decreasing. This is largely in part to the construction of organizations to curb school violence. In order for these programs to be effective, they have to help teachers identify the warning signs for acts of violence in the classroom and raise awareness for students and parents as well.
The aftermath of the Columbine shootings produced the creations of numerous teacher resources and organizations to curb school violence. The government created new policies for school districts and money was available for teachers and administrators to attend seminars to help them prevent violence in their schools. Additionally, schools across the US quickly and dramatically implemented new policies and upped the security measures taken to protect teachers and students.
Another approach to curb school violence is to introduce learning opportunities for teachers and staff in regard to conflict resolution. Due to varied background and familial issues, many students do not understand how to resolve conflicts in their own environment. In Texas, educators combined with social workers to implement a system wide program that encouraged students to resolve conflicts in non-violent methods. The program was broken into three sections and given to groups of students from varying backgrounds that totaled no more than 20 students in a classroom. Kids were taught negotiation techniques, communication enhancement tactics, and appreciation for diversity. The entire program ran the duration of an entire school year. The Texas school system benefited by seeing a 76% decrease in violent acts throughout their state school system.
There are many public access organizations that school systems can use to curb school violence. Some of the most beneficial to students and teachers are the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, the Committee for Children and the National School Safety Center. All of these organizations to curb school violence offer teacher resources, lessons plans, teacher worksheets and other tools that can be used in the classroom to teach children how to avoid violence as a solution to problems encountered at school.
The Students Against Violence Everywhere program (SAVE) is a student-driven organization that helps to unite students and provides literature and research to build awareness and enhance communication skills for students. Included are socially acceptable methods for students suffering from bullying or abuse at school to turn to for help. For students and administrators alike, this children helping children resource teaches youth how to be non-violent through creative and community based activities.
It is important for youth to learn the importance of civility and good citizenship. When they are taught by teachers how to react to their environment in a positive manner and are given the tools to effective communication, they not only feel safer in their schools, but also can create a more peaceful environment within their school. As a teacher or administrator, these organizations designed to curb violence in school are an effective way to transition the student body to behaving in non-violent ways. Many of the resources are free to students and teachers and can be implemented into lesson plans easily.
The United States Government's Safe and Drug Free Schools Program is another valuable resource for students where school systems can find everything from financial assistance to lesson plans to incorporate safety and non-violence in their schools. They can be located at http://www2.ed.gov/ and provide thorough materials for character and civic education for both educators and students.
More Resources On School Violence Prevention Organizations
- Center for the Prevention of School Violence
- Committee for Children
- National Association of Attorneys General/National School Boards Association
- National School Safety Center
- Partnerships Against Violence (PAVNET)
- Teaching Anger Control Through Teamwork (ACCT)