Violence in Our Schools
Imagine a school where every student feels connected to the school, the staff members, the other students, and the vision and goals of the school. That is, imagine a school where every student feels that the adults there care about them as individuals and care about their learning. That is a school in which there will be few cases, if any, of any type of violence, let alone a shooting on the magnitude that we have seen in the last 10 years. As educators, this is the type of school that we need to work to create each and every day. Such work needs to be very intentionally focused to ensure that each and every student feels valued and connected to the school community. The work toward this goal can occur in two different ways, personal modeling and creating structures within the school. Specific examples of personal modeling can be recreated on a larger scale through entire school structures and serve as a unifying force for all staff members to help students feel connected. Once these structures are in place, a net is created that helps prevent any student, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, home-life situation, or even ability, from falling through the cracks and feeling unconnected. Several examples of such structures follow.
KeywordsExtracurricular Activity School Community School Connectedness School Violence Threat Assessment
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