Preventing Violence

Preventing Violence in Schools: What You Can Do Now
Posted on 11/30/2016

School violence continues to be a growing concern for all educators regardless of how long they have been teaching. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control - Division of Violence Prevention, in 2013 12% of students ages 12-18 reported that gangs were present at their school. In 2015, 20.2% of a national sampling of students reported being bullied on school property. As the “boots on the ground,” teachers can be instrumental in reducing the instances of bullying and school violence.

  1. Build Strong Relationships with Students and Parents
    • Relationship building between administrators, teachers, students, and families is at the foundation of promoting well-being in schools. Promoting communication and making everyone feel that they have a voice in the school community can help in avoiding the isolation and stress that many feel. Mentoring programs that teach impulse control, anger management, and empathy can help students develop skills they need to take control of their lives. Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere (STRYVE) is an initiative from the Center for Disease Control that offers information, training, and tools to help communities promote the widespread use of evidence-based preventions strategies and reduce national rates of youth violence. Information can be found at

  2. Get Involved with Bullying Prevention Programs and Anti-Violence Organizations
    • If your school has a bullying prevention program, such as those trained through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), get involved and help. If your school does not, discuss your concerns with your administration to see about asking for training for your school staff. To request information about PBIS and the universal bullying prevention curriculum contact the Desert/Mountain SELPA at 760-552-6700 or send an email. Establish a club or organization focused on bullying, prejudice, or stereotypes that encourage students to be a part of the solution to school violence. Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Violence has resources that can be located at

  3. Educate Parents and Yourself on Danger Signs
    • Parent education programs that teach the danger of exposure to violent media can be instrumental in reducing violence in school. Because violence is often learned at at a young age, work with families on identifying changes they can make early on in the home. By the time they are 18, children will have viewed on average 10,000 acts of violence on media, so parents should limit the number of hours of exposure to television and video games to avoid desensitization, a diminished emotional response to violence. In addition, parents should have conversations with their child on different ways to resolve conflicts. More information can be found at

School violence should not stop educators or parents from providing positive opportunities for children to grow and explore their world. Together we can work to provide a safe environment for our students and staff.