Are you aware of the growing report of violence in educational centres and schools? Are you actually worried about your kid’s safety and are you wondering how you can prevent school violence from happening? Do you know if your kid is unhappy or scared at his or her school? Are teachers in these educational centres reporting violence against themselves? If you are trying to understand the different forms of violence that take place in schools, go ahead and read on.
Understanding school violence
School violence or violence in the educational environment falls under a broader category, which is youth violence. School violence describes the intentional use of force on students or faculty in an educational environment. Kids can be affected by educational violence at nine or ten years or at times even earlier. Teachers and professors are often bullied too. A study carried out in 2014 found that four of out five teachers had been bullied in the previous twenty-four months, mainly by parents or the students themselves.
What types of school violence are there?
School violence happens in various forms, and not always in a physical form. These are the most common types of educational violence:
- A physical fight between two individuals.
- Bullying – either mental or physical.
- Violence against a single individual by a gang.
- Usage of weapons.
- Virtual violence, cyber-bullying, electronic stalking, online harassment, etc.
- Verbal abuse.
Improving school safety
There is no proven, 100% effective method to improve educational safety. Each centre has a unique make-up of teachers, students, culture and their own risks. The most effective way to improve educational safety is to implement a combination of initiatives, measures and policies.
Physical security measures
A very common way to lower violence levels in schools and other educational centres is to implement solid security measures, like security systems, campus guards, CCTV surveillance cameras as well as metal detectors. Surveillance CCTV cameras can be installed in hallways, classrooms and near entry doors to provide school personnel the ability to monitor unknown and unfamiliar faces
Implement violence-preventing policies
Policies designed to prevent school violence can improve educational safety in two different ways. The first way is simply through deterrence. Zero-tolerance policies help punish individuals who perpetrate any form of violence and deter students, parents and visitors from behaving violently. If an initial violation is followed by punishment, students or parents are much less likely to be violent, bring weapons around the centre or bully other students or teachers. The second way is about fostering a safe and inclusive environment. For students, implement policies outlining school-wide behavioural expectations that encourage positive values like inclusion, respect and communication. As for the staff and teachers, adopt implement outlining the their role in preventing violence.
Talking to students
Keeping lines of communication open with students is a very important step to keeping them involved in their education, schoolwork, activities and friends. Create spaces to start vital discussions with the children, conversations about smoking, sex, drugs, drinking, and of course violence.
These topics can be difficult and even embarrassing at times but it is essential to have an open dialogue about these matters.
Setting clear limits and rules
Kids need clearly defined limits and rules set for them so they understand what is expected of them and the serious consequences for not complying. When setting these limits and rules, make sure your kids understand the purpose behind these limits and be consistent in enforcing them.
Understanding the warning signs
Understanding what actually is a normal behaviour for your kids will help you recognise small changes in behaviour and provide you with an early warning that something might be wrong.