Children, School, and Violence: What Students Can Do

Students usually know more about violence at school than anybody else – and often have the best ideas about preventing violence. It is important for you to act on those ideas and connect with teachers and parents to develop solutions. Many students say that violence is the thing they worry about most at school—fighting, name-calling, excluding, bullying and so on.

To be successful, everyone must work together – school administration, teachers, parents and most importantly students. The tips below have worked for many schools because the school staff, parents and students worked together to make them succeed.

  • Form a student “Safety Council.” Actively solicit participation from all types of students—jocks, nerds, scrubs, Goths, geeks, bullies, etc.—to give the council its best chance for success. The council should promote students’ awareness of their own responsibility for creating a safe school.
  • Coordinate student courts. Local justice system experts can train students to set up a trial system to handle school rules violations. Student courts are a privilege—they make real judgments and pass real sentences.
  • Establish a system of student mediators who are trained to calm tensions among peers and who serve as models of positive behavior.
  • Invite external student safety groups (such as Students Against Destructive Decisions—SADD) to your school to promote safe activities.
  • Develop a buddy system for new students. Assign a current student to the new person to help them settle in to their new environment and routines, and make them feel welcome and comfortable in their new school.
  • Establish a student tip line that allows students to report school crime in an anonymous, non-threatening manner.
  • Work in your community to improve conditions—clean up, plant trees and flowers, and remove graffiti. A sense of pride in the environment brings everyone together in a positive way.