Parent's Resource Center

Stopping School Violence
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 them out.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Regularly invite parents to talk with you about their children's progress and any concerns they have. Send home notes celebrating children's achievements.
  4. Learn how to recognize the warning signs that a child might be headed for violence and know how to tap school resources to get appropriate help.
  5. Encourage and sponsor student-led anti-violence activities and programs ranging from peer education to teen courts to mediation to mentoring to training.
  6. Offer to serve on a team or committee to develop and implement a Safe School Plan, including how teachers should respond in emergencies.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Teach with enthusiasm. Students engaged in work that is challenging, informative, and rewarding are less likely to get into trouble.
  10. 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.
  11. Incorporate discussions on violence and its prevention into the subject matter you teach whenever possible.
  12. Encourage students to report crimes or activities that make them suspicious.