12 Things Teachers Can Do
Help stop school violence with this starter list of ideas. Some
require only individual action; some require concerted effort. Some
address immediate issues; others address the problems that cause
violence. Consider this list a launching pad—there's lots more that
can be done. Check the resource
section for places to contact for more ideas and help in carrying
- Report to the principal as quickly as possible any threats, signs
of or discussions of weapons, signs of gang activity, or other
conditions that might invite or encourage violence.
- With help from students, set norms for behavior in your classroom.
Refuse to permit violence. Ask students to help set penalties and
enforce the rules.
- Regularly invite parents to talk with you about their children's
progress and any concerns they have. Send home notes celebrating
- Learn how to recognize the warning signs that a child might be
headed for violence and know how to tap school resources to get
- Encourage and sponsor student-led anti-violence activities and
programs ranging from peer education to teen courts to mediation to
mentoring to training.
- Offer to serve on a team or committee to develop and implement a
Safe School Plan, including how teachers should respond in
- Firmly and consistently but fairly enforce school policies that
seek to reduce the risk of violence. Take responsibility for areas
outside as well as inside your classroom.
- Insist that students not resort to name-calling or teasing.
Encourage them to demonstrate the respect they expect. Involve them
in developing standards of acceptable behavior.
- Teach with enthusiasm. Students engaged in work that is
challenging, informative, and rewarding are less likely to get into
- Learn and teach conflict resolution and anger management skills.
Help your students practice applying them in everyday life. Discuss
them in the context of what you teach.
- Incorporate discussions on violence and its prevention into the
subject matter you teach whenever possible.
- Encourage students to report crimes or activities that make them