Home > Kids > Childhood Safety > School Safety > What to Do About School Violence

What to Do About School Violence

In This Article:

Page 2

When Your Child Is the Bully

If your child is quick to anger, gets into frequent fights at school, and is often rejected by other children because of the way he acts, you should discuss your concerns with a professional who can suggest ways to curb his violent tendencies.

Watch Out!

Kids who behave aggressively may be imitating what they've seen on television. While TV violence may not cause aggression, it certainly doesn't help kids who watch a lot of it. Limit the amount of it your child sees by noting which TV shows are rated V for violence. Find out about the ratings on the movies he wants to see, too.

What Schools Can Do

Find out what steps your school is taking to keep students safe from violence. Many are turning to surveillance cameras, metal detectors, and security guards, but the foundation of a violence-prevention program should be early intervention with troubled students. Here are some questions to ask of school administrators:

  • Are staff and students trained to identify early warning signs?
  • Is the staff responsive when a student complains about abuse from another student?
  • Is action taken swiftly to avoid continuation of the problem?
  • Are there interventions, such as referrals to counselors, rather than just punishments for students with behavioral problems?
Safety Savvy

Training programs in how to spot troubled students should be extended to all staff, not just teachers and administrators. Sometimes it's the bus driver or the cafeteria worker who witnesses kids harassing others.

Involving Students in Problem-Solving

Some elementary schools are adopting programs to deal with bullying on a regular basis. The formats vary but usually involve a regular time in each classroom where students sit in a circle and bring up any situations that bothered them. This helps children understand how what they do affects the feelings of others. The teacher moderates and keeps the discussion from becoming accusatory.

Some middle schools and high schools have created peer mediation programs—sometimes called student court—to help classmates resolve differences. Student volunteers are trained to hold mediations between classmates who are in conflict. If the parties come to an agreement, they can avoid administrator-imposed sanctions.

What Your Community Can Do

The underlying causes of school violence are complex and require multi-faceted approaches. Working with your school administration and parent-teacher association, you can tackle school safety on many fronts by creating a community dialogue. Participants should include law enforcement officials, social workers, volunteer service groups, religious organizations, and social service agencies, among others.

Together you can:

  • Create conflict-resolution programs for students.
  • Review school discipline policy and enforcement.
  • Develop after-school activities so children have adult supervision and positive things to do with their time.
  • Pass laws and promote enforcement of provisions to protect children from gun violence at school.
  • Provide community mental health resources for children and families in need of them.

<< Previous: Page 1

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Child Safety © 2000 by Miriam Bacher Settle, Ph.D., and Susan Crites Price. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks