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School Violence – An Everyday Danger

Monday, November 7, 2016
Margaret Bastick
School Violence – An Everyday Danger

Columbine, Sandy Hook Elementary School and Virginia Tech are names that immediately recall the deadly potential that unchecked dangerous behavior can have in an educational setting.

Although school-associated violent deaths are rare events, any type of violence in educational facilities is tragic and disastrous. The media focuses on school shootings, but school violence includes a range of activities that can be equally damaging, including assaults with or without weapons, physical fights, threats or destructive acts, bullying, hostile or threatening remarks and gang violence. This violence can affect teachers, too, who are sometimes victims of threats of violence and intimidation.

At Horton, we have made your safety our top priority by instating a Workplace Violence Prevention Program. It is essential that you collaborate with us to keep the workplace as safe as possible by identifying risk factors, learning ways to support troubled students and reacting quickly and appropriately in the event of a violent act.

Identify Risk Behavior

There are many warning signs that preclude school violence. Be aware of your students’ disposition, and take action if you notice aberrant student behaviors such as these:

  • Sudden lack of interest
  • Obsessions with violent games
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Writing that shows depression, isolation or aggression
  • Lack of anger management skills
  • Talking about death or bringing weapons to school

Depending on the individual and the situation, interventions can take a variety of forms, including anger management training, structured after-school programs, mentoring, changing instructional practices, tutoring and group and family counseling.

Be on the Lookout

Take responsibility for student activity both inside and out of the classroom. If you see dangerous behavior taking place, even if it is not under your watch, do not ignore it.

  • Encourage your students to talk about violence. Make it clear to them that you will always be available to talk about their concerns and fears.
  • Make a policy prohibiting prejudice or stereotypes in the classroom and enforce it.
  • Listen to your students’ idle chatter—if you hear something alarming, bring it to your administrator’s attention.
  • Work with parents of problematic students to find a way to cooperatively support their children.
  • Never ignore threats! Any threatening, intimidating or potentially violent behavior must be reported.

React Appropriately

Should a student become violent, it is crucial to remain calm. If possible, act as a mediator. If not, do your best to alert the administration and keep yourself and other students safe.

Help us create a safe and supportive environment. If you have any other questions about our Workplace Violence Prevention Program, please contact your administrator.

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Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.