SAFER SCHOOLS NEWS-VOL. 1
ARE OUR SCHOOLS SAFE?
“I know our schools are safe. Statistics prove it. But the perception is that they are not; and that is more important than statistics.” A leader in the Arkansas State education spoke those words. They might have been uttered by anyone who works in the public schools. It is, in fact, true that students are safer at school than they are at home, church or the mall. That does so little to ease the fears of the kids or the concern of the parents (Click to see states where school violence has occurred).
How can we make students, parents, teachers and administrators feel safer at our schools? Here is a simple approach:
At a recent seminar, a group of professional educators were asked for a show of hands of who had been trained to break up a fight. No hands were raised. I then asked, “Who has had to break up a fight at school?” Every person there had a hand in the air. So, (1) there is a problem in the classroom, and (2) the problem is more frequent and more severe fighting. The only solutions that had been offered were to increase self-esteem classes so that students would not want to fight.
The only plan was to suspend or expel those who did fight (and report the serious ones to the police). And the only training was to give every teacher a booklet on self- esteem building for the classroom.
This probably could have been your school. Here is another alternative to consider: First, let us learn to stop the fights. Then, while we are presenting self-esteem exercises to the students, let’s develop anger management skills in our teachers. And finally, let’s devote resources to providing recurring training for school staff members.
Keys’ has been presenting an Anger Management & De-escalation trainings for over 15 years at various locations in the US, Canada and Europe. One of our many workshops was conducted on December 8, 1999 which was jointly sponsored by Ouachita Baptist University, Henderson State University and Dawson Educational Cooperative. A Hand-out, “How to Break Up a Fight” is linked to this newsletter or can be requested by email. Feel free to download and copy it with our compliments. For other free materials, such as“Managing An Escalating/Hostage Situation”. go to our FREE Knowledge Base Center to download it today.