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School Violence

The buzz word in teacher workshops these days has become school violence. There are many different schools of thought surrounding ways that teachers can help cut down on school violence on their campuses; ranging from teaching tolerance to increasing school discipline. Perhaps the best strategies involve both of these stick and carrot approaches.

During the first days of school, you should fully discuss your campus school violence policies, and reiterate that violence is completely unacceptable during the school day, including the time your students spend in your classroom. Make sure that your students have read the appropriate sections of the school handbook, and perhaps even have them sign a document stating that they understand the sections regarding school violence. Your school should also have a policy that ensures parents of students are fully aware of your schools policy regarding how school violence is disciplined. It is easy to keep these signatures on file in order to have them later on in the school year, if necessary.

You can also work in some easy strategies to reduce school violence into your everyday lesson plans. One of the best ways to cut down on violence is to promote tolerance of diversity. You could have a short lesson about various world cultures and their practices to start each week or month. Another idea is to share a quote each day on the board, especially quotes from famous world leaders who have spoken out against violence and for acceptance. By having the students write in their journals, or draw pictures, reflecting on the quotes, you can encourage them to spend some time probing their own feelings about violence. You may even want to have certain students read or show them to the class, and then have a class discussion about how the quotes and reflections relate to school violence.

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