School Violence Awareness
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November 27, 2001
School Violence Awareness
One out of every twelve students would stay home rather than attend school for fear someone would hurt them or hassle them (Kreiner). What can we do to be safe in school? It is becoming more apparent violence is a problem in most schools. But once we are aware that it exists, we can figure out ways to make it less of a problem. The most important step is to learn how to protect ourselves from, a violent situation. However, you can also help to achieve a larger goal: preventing violence before it happens (Kreiner).
How can you protect yourself? The first thing is to listen to your instincts. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in the surrounding area, pay attention to everything around you! If you need to leave for any reason, pass through the most crowded area. Avoid letting anyone walk uncomfortably close behind you. If someone is close behind, try to create distance between the person and yourself. Anonymously report any student that you see with a gun, knife, or any other weapon; but make sure that the person you report doesn’t know. If someone threatens you with a weapon, it is usually best if you don’t fight back. Do what the person orders, and then report the incident to the authorities (Kreiner).
There are other ways we can stop the violence before it starts. One way is to start changing how we look at guns and violence. Don’t act impressed if a friend brings a weapon to school. In addition don’t encourage a friend to use his/her fists when they get angry. Help your friends when they get upset, and tell them you will listen to their problems. We can also avoid the violence by staying out of violent places (Kreiner). These are all ways we can stop the violence before it starts.
Also, government and school officials are stepping in to do what they can to stop the violence. The government is doing their part by reducing the availability of weapons. Also, they’re mandating a one-year expulsion for students who bring weapons to school. Schools are forming an institutional code of conduct that demonstrates a commitment to violence prevention and helps staff and students feel safe. The schools are now enforcing the “zero tolerance” rule that was mandated by the Federal Government. This includes also enforcing zero tolerance for guns and other types of offences, assaults on teacher and enforcing students to wear uniforms. The “zero tolerance” is the school foundation for stopping violence. With this policy, schools can set rules that can be enforced with harsh punishment if these rules are broken. Also, it makes it clear that “if it is illegal outside school, it’s illegal inside school.” For an example, stealing is illegal outside of school, so it is also illegal inside of school. Establish a written policy that is to be signed by all students, parents, teachers, and principals acknowledging that everybody understands the rules. Also, make it clear that the student will be brought to jail if the violence he/she committed is a crime (Schwartz). Another way schools are getting involved to stop the violence is by trying to restructure their systems. In the restructuring of the schools, they’re focusing on increasing students engagement, attendance, and performance. Schools have also reformed their systems, by downsizing their school and classroom sizes. Schools that have downsized documented that they have fewer disruptions and incidents of violence (ERIC).
As schools are coming up with these prevention strategies to stop the school violence, they’re adding more security. School security is becoming one of the most common prevention programs. The monitoring of students is one of the most obvious types of security. In most cases, the school staff members serve as the monitors,