The majority of students know they share in the accountability to check school violence. Not only do they endure the penalty when it happens, they offer an important outlook on how to promote school safety. Consequently, students should be included in all efforts to create safer schools. The following are steps students can take to help reduce violence in their schools.
- Know and follow their school’s violence prevention guidelines. Work with teachers and administrators to generate a safe way to report threats. Learn about who they can go to with information and concerns about known or potential violence or harassment.
- Listen to friends who share a distressing opinion or show worrying, harmful, or dangerous behavior, and encourage them to seek help from a parent, teacher, school counselor, or other trusted adult. (Sugai et al., 2000)
- Confide in a parent, teacher, or other trusted adult if they persistently:
- Feel so “down”, sad, or” empty” that they don’t want to go out and do things;
- Are not able to sleep;
- Have difficulty concentrating;
- Feel helpless and/or angry; or
- Feel like they are losing control over their thoughts or emotions.
- Instantly report wary behavior and threats of violence and/or suicide to a school administrator or another dependable adult. Students who do not feel happy speaking directly to school officials or adults should use another means such as unidentified hotlines or notes.
- Organize and contribute to after-school activities with conscientious members of the community. Support friends to do the same. Participate in continuing activities that promote school safety. Actively participate in programs such as conflict resolution, problem-solving teams, mentoring programs, student courts, community service, and peer mediation. (Williamson et al., 1999)
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