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Checklist to Help Prevent Violence in Schools

Schools and school-related activities where students are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and substance use

Checklist to Help Prevent Violence in Schools

Today, it’s not uncommon for our children to be subjected to school violence. School violence occurs in many shapes and forms. If we as parents don’t act appropriately and soon enough, our children will suffer the dire consequences throughout their lives. Your child may develop PTSD, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, or depression. 

Your child may already be showing the signs of school violence. He or she may be subjected to physical bullying (being slapped kicked, punched, or pushed), gang violence, threatened by weapons, verbal abuse, or may be bullied online on social platforms. 

It’s important to remember that school violence doesn’t always take place on school property. Your child may be attacked on their way to school, on their way home, during school sports events, or any other school-sponsored events. 

It’s a known fact that children associate violence with power. Should your child continually become the subject of school violence, he or she may start to act out and resort to grievous acts of violence against the school, pupils, and teachers. For this reason, we’ve compiled a short checklist to help you prevent violence (avoid it leading to a crisis) in schools starting at home and keep your child safe.

Keep Communication Open

Talk to your child about their activities, friends, and schoolwork. This may be easier said than done with teens. However, it’s crucial to ask your child open-ended questions to hear about their personal experiences. Make an effort to let them see that you truly care and that you’re listening. 

They’ll more than likely be more open about their opinions and ideas. Once you’ve reached this point, you can begin to start discussions on more difficult subjects regarding drugs, drinking, sex, smoking, and more. The point is to let them know that they can come to you about everything about the fear of getting judged.

Setting Clear Rules and Limitations

It’s a fact that children’s behavior is governed by what they know you expect from them and what the consequences are should they defy these expectations. As a parent, you must set clear rules and limitations, including the consequences for not keeping to these rules and limitations. 

Additionally, communicate to your child ‘WHY’ these rules are in place. Once you’ve done this, it’s crucial that you remain consistent in enforcing them. Most of all, should your child break these rules you must remain calm and control your stress and anger. If there has been a good reason for breaking the rules, be sure to show empathy, but enforce consequences and hold your ground.

Recognize the Warning Signs

When you’ve built a strong relationship with your child you’ll be able to recognize the warning signs. A troubled child will always show changes in behavior. These changes may be subtle or can become dramatic depending on the amount of trauma your child is experiencing. 

Potential problems could include a dramatic decline in grades, withdrawal from social events with friends, and abruptly quitting participation in sports or clubs. Lying, evasiveness, disruptions in sleeping patterns, eating problems, and more. In some cases, children that are subject to school violence will complain about physical ailments in order to avoid going to school altogether.

Knowing When to Step In and Intervene

Once you’ve recognized that your child exhibits behavior that’s adversely affecting their lives, or that their behavior could result in them hurting themselves or others, you must seek the help of a health professional or the school. Interventions that produce the best results is combining the efforts of all role players to get a positive result. Everyone must work together to provide ongoing support and monitoring of the situation.

Remain Involved

Every child needs to know that their well-being is important to you as a parent and that you want the best for them. Make an effort to involve yourself in their school journey by being involved in their education. Make an effort to get to know your child’s teachers and help them get to know your child better so that they may also recognize changes in behavior at school. 

Stay informed of your child’s achievements and ensure to praise them. Be aware of school events, homework assignments, and class projects by attending all parent orientation activities. As far as possible, try to arrange your daily schedule to assist with school functions. The best way to do this is to join the school’s PTA.

In Summary

It’s important to show your child that you support the school’s rules and regulations and enforce them at home. Should you feel that the violence in your child’s school needs more deliberate action, you can hold a petition drive, speak in front of the school board, or send a letter to your regional legislator. It’s a sad fact, but there are children in schools that don’t have a voice, and you a parent can make a difference in their lives and speak up for them.

Resources:

https://www.momjunction.com/articles/ways-to-stop-school-violence_00348545/

https://www.pta.org/home/family-resources/safety/School-Safety/Checklist-to-Help-Prevent-Violence-in-Schools

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