Violence Prevention and Response


School violence is a broad term that includes overt aggressive behaviors such as physical fights on campus, bullying (including online bullying or cyber-bullying), physical assault, bombing, arson, or other deliberate means of causing harm to the staff and students.  School administrators and crisis team members can create safe, secure, and peaceful schools free from the destructive influence of violence in all of its forms.  To do that, schools must implement purposeful, coordinated strategies to increase levels of safety and security and simultaneously promote student wellness and resilience.


  • Efforts to reduce school violence are most successful when they use multiple strategies selected specifically for each school’s needs. No single strategy or program will create a safe school and effective efforts require collaboration among administrators, teachers, school psychologists, other school mental health professionals, school resource officers, parents, students, and community agencies.
  • School safety measures should be geared to the specific needs and culture of the school community. A needs assessment can identify strengths and risks, such as the types of violence that occur, the context in which they occur, the most frequent victims, and the effectiveness of discipline procedures and existing intervention efforts.
  • Crisis response plans should have explicit procedures for reaffirming physical health, ensuring perceptions of safety and security, reestablishing social support, evaluating psychological trauma risk, and providing the interventions appropriate for the level of risk.


  • There is no single or simple solution to making schools safe. It is a multifaceted, ongoing effort that requires commitment and participation from all stakeholders



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