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Creating Safe Schools

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Creating a safe place where children can learn and grow depends on a partnership among students, parents, teachers and other community institutions.
To prevent school violence: 
    •  Find out how crime threatens schools in your community 
    •  Take actions to protect children
    •  Promote non-violent ways to manage conflict

How do these ideas translate into action?

Students
    • Settle arguments with words, not fists or weapons. 
    • Report crimes or suspicious activities to the police, school authorities or parents. 
    • Learn safe routes for traveling to and from school, and know good places to seek help. 
    • Don't use alcohol or other drugs, and stay away from places and people associated with them. 
    • Get involved in your school's anti-violence activities - have poster contests against violence, hold
       anti-drug rallies, volunteer to counsel peers. If there is no program, help start one.

Parents
    • Sharpen your parenting skills by working with your children to build their strengths. 
    • Teach your children how to reduce their risk of being victims of crime. 
    • Know where your kids are, what they are doing and who they are with at all times. 
    • Help your children learn non-violent ways to handle frustration, anger and conflict. 
    • Become involved in your child's school activities - PTA, field trips and helping out in class or lunch
      room. 
    • Work with other parents in your neighborhood to start a McGruff House or other block parent
      program.

School Staff
    • Evaluate your school's safety objectively and set targets for improvement. 
    • Develop consistent disciplinary policies, good security procedures and a response plan for
      emergencies. 
    • Train school personnel in conflict resolution, problem solving, crisis intervention, cultural
      sensitivity, classroom management and counseling skills. 
    • Work with students, parents, law enforcement, state governments and community-based groups
      to develop wider scope crime-prevention efforts such as drug-free and gun-free school zones.

Community Partners
    • Law enforcement can report on the type of crimes in the surrounding community and suggest
      ways to make schools safer. 
    • Community-based groups, church organizations and other service groups can provide counseling,
      extended learning programs, before and after school activities, school watches and other
      community crime prevention programs. 
    • State and local governments can develop model school safety plans and provide funding for
      schools to implement the programs. 
    • Local businesses can provide apprenticeship programs, participate in the adopt-a-school programs
      or serve as mentors to area students. 
    • Colleges and universities can offer conflict management courses to teachers or assist school
      officials in developing violence prevention curricula.

Helpful Links
National School Safety Center
National Association of Elementary School Principals
Crime Prevention Tips From National Crime Prevention Council