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School violence is a concern for many new and veteran teachers as marked by the increasing number of shootings by students on school property.What have we learned from some of these tragic events? Investigations on the Columbine (1999) massacre revealed that students knew something about the plans.Use debate formats to shape productive classroom discussions.
Sharing with teachers may help everyone become aware of warning signs and also provide them with specific directions on what to do about them.
Creating effective plans so that all staff members understand and follow is one key to helping prevent school violence.
There are typically many warning signs that show up before actual acts of school violence occur including a lack of remorse in dealing with peers.
Another may be a high level of dysfunction in the family.
Become an anti-violence club sponsor or help facilitate programs and fundraisers.
If your school does not have such programs, you may want to investigate what students would like and help to create anti-violence programs.These structured periods of time allow you to learn a lot about your and others' students.Make sure that you are enforcing school policy at this time, even though this can sometimes be difficult.There may be other ways to prevent violence as well.Therefore, teachers need to know how to evaluate the information they may learn to try and prevent acts of violence within all schools.Teachers should encourage students to take lockdown and active shooter drills held during the school day seriously.Ask them to think about a location during a drill, "If this was an actual emergency, where should I go to be safe? Try and make yourself available and let students know that they can talk with you about their concerns and fears about school violence. Keeping these lines of communication open is essential to violence prevention.Teachers in every discipline should take the opportunity to share opinions and literature that will help build empathy.Just as with students, keeping lines of communication open with parents is very important.Other warning signs are not limited to or may include the following behaviors: School violence is in the news, so this is a great time to bring it up in class.Depending on the school's policy, teachers can mention the warning signs and talk to students about what they should do if they know someone has a weapon or is planning violent acts.