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School Violence Presentation

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by

Rodney Queen

on 29 November 2010

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Transcript of School Violence Presentation

School Violence Identification Assessment It is important to avoid misperceptions about the prevalence & causes of school violence. It is critical to keep in mind is that no SINGLE factor leads to violence; multiple factors cause a person to become violent. Secret Service & FBI findings include: 1. School Violence is not an epidemic
2. All school shooters are not alike & there is no accurate profile of the violent offender 5. Most attackers had previously used guns & had access to them, but access to weapons is not the most significant risk factor
6. Unusual behaviors or interests are not the hallmark of student destined to become violent 6. Incidents of targeted violence at school are rarely impulsive 7. Prior to most incidents, the attacker told someone about his/her idea or plans 9. In many cases, other students were involved in some capacity 10. In a number of cases, bullying played a key role in & could have been a predictor of the attack 11. Prior to the incident, most attackers engaged in behavior that caused concern Four-Pronged Assessment Model Consider all factors shaping the student's decision-making & behavior Threat assessment done correctly entails a deliberate & focused process for examining all relevant information, such as: 1. The student's personal history
2. Relationships at home & school
3. Recent life events 4. Resiliency & coping style It is important to remember that you probably know less about the potential offender than you think & to try to view information through the student's eyes 1. Personality of the Student Behavioral Characteristics
1. Capacity to cope with stress & conflicts
2. Ways of dealing with anger, humiliation or sadness, disappointments
3. Level of resiliency to failure, criticism or other negative experiences
4. Response to rules & authority
5. Capacity for emotional empathy or respect for others
6. Sense of self-importance compared to others (superiority/inferiority) Personality Traits
1. Tolerance for frustration
2. Coping skills
3. Focus on perceived injustices
4. Signs of depression/other mental illness
5. Self-perceptions (narcissism/insecurity)
6. Need for attention
7. Focus of blame (internalizes/externalizes) 2. School Dynamics 1. Student's attachment to school
2. Tolerance for disrespectful behavior
3. Approach to discipline (equitable/arbitrary)
4. Flexibility / Inclusiveness of culture
5. Pecking order among students
6. Code of silence
7. Supervision of computer access 3. Social Dynamics 1. Peer group relationships & culture
2. Use of drugs & alcohol
3. Media, entertainment, technology
4. Level & focus of outside interests
5. Potential copycat effect of past incidents 4. Family Dynamics 1. Parent-child relationship
2. Attitudes toward pathological behavior
3. Access to weapons
4. Sense of connectedness/intimacy
5. Attitude toward/enforcement of parental authority
6. Monitoring of TV, video games, or internet Determine interventions in a timely manner Specific procedures should be established in advance. Provide supportive interventions to potential offenders The goal of threat assessment is not only to keep schools safe, but also to help potential offenders overcome the underlying sources of their anger & hopelessness The assessment process should incorporate referral to appropriate mental health & social services, as well as a system for following up on the effectiveness of interventions Interventions What interventions do schools have? Schools have plans for tornados & fires Many do not have adequate plans for issues of violence Such as shootings, violence, bullying, etc. What is needed in this area? 1. An understanding of the problem.
2. Early prevention strategies.
3. Plans & personel in place to deal with crisis situations.
4. Post-crisis interventions Types of Early Prevention Strategies: 1. Modeling:
Appropriate behaviors at school & how to handle a crisis Negatives:
1. Many school-aged children model from media. (Movies, Video Games, Music, ets.)
2. Often times idolize wrong people (Cho from Virginia Tech idolized Columbine shooters) Positives:
1. Teachers & other mentors who model appropriate behaviors 2. Reality Therapy Flannagan (1997) suggests that "tough love"/challenging tough students is a way to establish rappot & trust. (Point out actions & consequences) 3. Peer Counseling / Mediation Groups Heterogeneious groups with a cross-seciton of peers 4. After School & Community Programs Sports, Church groups, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club activities to provide alternatives to gangs, etc. 5. Education & empowerment programs for all students 6. School restructuring: Smaller, community schools Plans & Personel 1. Every school/district needs detailed plans in the event of an emergency
2. Specialized peronel to deal with issues. Examples:
SRO's to be on-site police, Crisis Intervention Specialists, Resource Officers, & Media Liasions to name a few Post-Crisis Interventions - On-Site counseling services
- Grief groups
- Review plans for needed change Referrals Early Warning Signs
Common To Those Who Commit Violent Acts At School:

•Expression of violence whether written or digital media
•Uncontrolled anger expressed frequently and intensely in response to minor irritants
•Serious threats of violence that are detailed and specific with regards to use of violence •Excessive feelings of rejection
•Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone
•Being a victim of violence
•Impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating, bullying or victim of such •Social withdrawal whether gradual or complete social withdrawal
•Feelings of being picked on and persecuted
•Low school interest and poor academic performance with feelings of frustration, unworthiness, and chastisement Imminent Warning Signs:
•Serious physical fighting with peers and family members
•Severe destruction of property
•Severe rage for seemingly minor reasons •Detailed threats of lethal violence
•Possession and/or use of firearms
•Other self-injurious behaviors or threats of suicide Dwyer, K., Osher, D., & Warger, C. (1998). Early warning, timely response: A guide to safe schools. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Kidspeace.org: Kidspeace has locations in Cumberland, Wake, Durham and Moore counties in North Carolina. Kidspeace provides emotional & physical health care & educational services. 3. School shooters often have difficulties but they are not always loners
4. Although a common factor, revenge is not the exclusive moivation for school shootings 8. Most shooting incidents were not resolved by law enforcement STRYVE Program - safeyouth.gov : The STRYVE program is an interactive online program geared towards preventing violence in youth ages 10 -24. There are varous resources, training & prevention strategies found on this site. National center for children exposed to violence - www.nccev.org : This site gives valuable insight into causes of violence, prevention strategies & offers countless for both prevention & the aftermath of violence. nctsn.org : This website is an excellent resource for schools after a crisis. The site offers step by step guidelines to various school officials & also presents a after crisis model that could be very helpful in crisis situation's aftermath. Thomas, D.J. (2007). Keep schools safe: school safety, security, and violence prevention resource. Retrieved from http://www.keepschoolssafe.org/kss/school-safety/school-violence/ - Keep Schools Safe is a wonderful resource website that provides insight into the growing school violence epidemic. Murray, R.T. (2009). Violence in america's schools: understanding, prevention, and responses. Westport, CT: Rowman and Littlefield Education.- Great resource for anyone to use to better understand why school violence occurs, how to prevent it, and what do do in the aftermath. Murray provides a number of ways to respond with the immediacy needed in the fallout of such a disaster.
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