Safe Schools Students

Safe Schools:
Action Steps for Students


There is much students can do to help create safe schools. Talk to your teachers, parents and counselor to find out how you can get involved and do your part to make your school safe. Here are some ideas that students in other schools have tried:

  • Listen to your friends if they share troubling feelings or thoughts. Encourage them to get help from a trusted adult such as a school psychologist, counselor, social worker, leader from the faith community or other professional. If you are very concerned, seek help for them. Share your concerns with your parents.
  • Create, join, or support student organizations that combat violence, such as “Students Against Destructive Decisions” and “Young Heroes Program.”
  • Work with local businesses and community groups to organize youth-oriented activities that help young people think of ways to prevent school and community violence. Share your ideas for how these community groups and businesses can support your efforts.
  • Organize an assembly and invite your school psychologist, school social worker and counselor--in addition to student panelists--to share ideas about how to deal with violence, intimidation and bullying.
  • Get involved in planning, implementing and evaluating your school’s violence prevention and response plan.
  • Participate in violence prevention programs such as peer mediation and conflict resolution. Employ your new skills in other settings, such as the home, neighborhood and community.
  • Work with your teachers and administrators to create a safe process for reporting threats, intimidation, weapon possession, drug selling, gang activity, graffiti and vandalism. Use the process.
  • Ask for permission to invite a law enforcement officer to your school to conduct a safety audit and share safety tips, such as traveling in groups and avoiding areas known to be unsafe. Share your ideas with the officer.
  • Help to develop and participate in activities that promote student understanding of differences and that respect the rights of all.
  • Volunteer to be a mentor for younger students and/or provide tutoring to your peers.
  • Know your school’s code of conduct and model responsible behavior. Avoid being part of a crowd when fights break out. Refrain from teasing, bullying, and intimidating peers.
  • Be a role model. Take personal responsibility by reacting to anger without physically or verbally harming others.
  • Seek help from your parents or a trusted adult such as a school psychologist, social worker, counselor or teacher if you are experiencing intense feelings of anger, fear, anxiety or depression.
     

From Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools, published by the United States Department of Education, August, 1998.

 


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