The Role of Students
The majority of students recognize they share in the responsibility to prevent school violence. Not only do they suffer the consequences when it occurs, they provide an essential perspective on how to promote school safety. The following are steps students can take to help reduce violence in their schools.
- Know and follow school violence prevention policies.
- Work with teachers and administrators to create a safe way to report threats.
- Learn about who they can go to with information and concerns about known or potential violence or harassment.
- Listen to friends who share upsetting thoughts or display troubling, harmful, or dangerous behavior, and encourage them to seek help from a parent, teacher, school counselor, or other trusted adult.
- Confide in a parent, teacher, or other trusted adult if they persistently: 1) feel so "down", sad or "empty" that they don't want to go out and do things; 2) are not able to sleep; 3) have difficulty concentrating; 4) feel helpless and/or angry; or 5) feel like they are losing control over their thoughts or emotions.
- Immediately report suspicious behavior and threats of violence and/or suicide to school officials or another responsible adult. Students who do not feel comfortable speaking directly to school officials or adults should use another means such as anonymous hotlines or notes.
- Help organize and participate in after-school activities with responsible members of the community. Encourage peers to do the same.
- Participate in on-going activities that promote school safety. Actively participate in programs such as conflict resolution, problem solving teams, mentoring programs, student courts, community service, and peer mediation.
- Act as positive role models for peers and younger students. Accept responsibility for their own actions and consider the impact their actions have on others.
- Refrain from belittling, harassing and bullying other students. Be tolerant of other students and their differences.
- Learn techniques to avoid and cope with negative peer pressure.
- Speak out and refuse to join in when members of groups or cliques with whom they are involved engage in negative behavior toward others, such as acts of harassment or vandalism.