School Violence Prevention Programs – The fight against violence in and around institutions remains one of the priorities of the Ministry of National Education in every country regarding prevention and security. The child spends a lot of time at school. His quality of life and his behavior are thus primarily influenced by the relationships he has with his peers and teachers; and the organizational and structural aspects of the institutional framework. The school thus plays an important role in the social development of pupils; it is also the place where fairly common forms of violence take place. As a result, the school institution must be concerned about preventing school violence.
Violence, a fatality?
“The highlighting, on the media scene, of some dramatic and intolerable facts should not make us forget the slow deterioration of the climate in schools that can lead to some daily violence, both for students and staff.”
For a long time, education has decided to act on evolution that can only hinder the proper functioning of schooling. Indeed, most perpetrators of violence are often young people who fail school. The first signs of dropping out and slipping on the slope of violence are absenteeism, incivility, poor or truly catastrophic school results. It is therefore there, at the root, that the evil must be taken. However, such a proclamation of principle can not suffice. Also, do the institutions have a certain number of prevention and fight against harassment in schools and secondary schools has also become a priority of governments and schools.
The responsibility of the school head
Let’s first remember that there is an obligation to ensure the safety of people within the institution.
The public authority is required to protect officials against threats, violence, assault, insults, defamation or outrages of which they may be victims in the course of their duties, and to make good any damage resulting from that place. Of course, this obligation also applies to students. This means that all possible preventive measures must be implemented.
Prevention based on the quality of life at school
The school’s mission is to prepare pupils for working life, but also for personal and social life. Through the transmission of some values, it encourages the autonomy and empowerment of children and young people. But the school can also be the scene of violence. Harassment, fights, racism, threats, exclusion or sexual violence can occur in the school context. These manifestations of violence then require targeted measures.
- A prevention strategy at school must take into account the multifactorial causes of violence and propose a range of complementary measures:
- The promotion of an enabling environment and fulfilling all school stakeholders is the soil necessary for the implementation of any measure targeted prevention. The range of actions is broad – an improvement of the school climate, establishment of rules and clear sanctions, drawing up of a charter, setting up structures of participation, … – To tend towards a harmonious coexistence.
- The reinforcement of the social and relational skills of the pupils can be implemented from the first years of schooling. Different programs on assertiveness, emotion and conflict management, listening and respect have shown positive effects in a range of issues that arise in adolescence: substance use, risk behaviors, violence, etc.
- Targeted action on early expressions of behavioral problems, such as school bullying or absenteeism, should also be part of a comprehensive school-based prevention strategy. Thematic priorities are determined according to the profile and specific needs of each school.
- The training of teachers is a key element. Updating knowledge on new forms of violence such as cyberbullying and raising awareness of early intervention processes are examples to follow.
- The educational partnership with parents is essential. As primary caretakers of their children’s education, parents must be involved in any prevention or intervention process.
- Establishing a crisis intervention concept integrating network resources is one way to prevent confusion during the occurrence of serious events.
Support for the development of a prevention concept
The various school violence prevention and intervention measures implemented in schools are today mainly due to the initiative and the will of teachers and school administrators. They should be able to be professionally counseled in the development of comprehensive prevention and intervention policy in their institution. They should be accompanied in the selection of appropriate measures, their realization, and their evaluation. While in some places and large communes schools can already benefit from such specialized services, others seize the offers which are presented or directly appeal to the services of associations or private advisers.
TOOLS TARGETED ON THE PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE
Health Education and Citizenship Committee
Health education and citizenship committee must be set up in every secondary school. It is made up of representatives of the staff, parents, and students who are appointed by their respective representatives on the school’s board of directors.
Four missions are given to this committee:
- contribute to citizenship education
- prepare the violence prevention plan
- propose actions to help parents in difficulty and fight against exclusion
- define a health and sexuality education program and prevention of risky behaviors
The Violence Prevention Plan
The Health education and citizenship committee must prepare a school violence prevention plan for adoption by the Board of Directors. To this end, he participates in the security diagnosis and, based on this observation, proposes a strategy to be implemented against all acts of a violent nature that may exist in the establishment (attacks on the physical integrity and dignity of people, racist or anti-Semitic acts, sexist and homophobic behavior, sexual violence or hazing practices).
It is the school head who is the guarantor of the implementation of this plan for the prevention of violence in his establishment.
Security diagnosis is a document that must be established with local police or gendarmerie officials. It can be supplemented by a “situational prevention audit” which lists the measures to be taken to prevent or make difficult the infractions (special arrangements, monitoring tools …). This diagnosis must take into account all the places and situations inside the establishment but also on its surroundings. It is often at the door of schools, in adjacent streets, in transport and around sports fields that can happen brawls and rackets.
Some counties’ laws on “Securing schools and monitoring delinquency” supports a new system for securing more schools, by setting up: a closer partnership between schools and law enforcement (school security acquaintances) policemen or gendarmes-referents “). Security services around schools that may be initiated by the police or gendarmerie, academic authorities or at the request of the head of the establishment; training in security issues and crisis management; the updating of crime monitoring data. A security diagnosis must be completed for all institutions
Local security contracts
Because school violence does not stop at the doors of the school, it must be associated with the work of the local safety and crime prevention councils and bodies, chaired by the mayors, who Their mission is to develop local security contracts. It is the health education and citizenship committee that must be the interface between the local safety and crime prevention councils and the institution.