Washoe Country School District
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The question facing school administrators is not if you are going to have a crisis, but when, and are you prepared?
- Nearly 3 million thefts and violent crimes occur on or near schools every day,
- Every day, ten Americans aged 19 and under are killed in gun accidents, suicides, and homicides.
- One in seven students are affected by bullying.
- About one in 12 students has stayed home from school because of fear of being hurt at school.
- One in 11 students reported being a crime victim at school.
- Fifteen percent of students reported gangs present at their school. Of these, 35 percent feared attack at school.
- In a 30-day period, one in five high school students carried a weapon, although not necessarily to school.
Teens continue to rank drugs as the single most important problem facing people their age. This is what they say:
- 51% of high school students see the school drug situation getting worse.
- 56% of 17-year-old students know a drug dealer at school.
- 84% of 12-year-olds would report a student using illegal drugs at school compared to only 31% of 16-year-olds.
- 80% of 12-year-olds would report a student selling illegal drugs compared to only 27% of 15 to 17-year-olds.
What Can Be Done
1. Have a policy regarding discipline and conduct.
2. Help to improve the student's self-image.
3. All students should know what's expected of them.
4. Set reasonable limits.
5. Monitor hallways, libraries, and quiet areas.
6. Do not allow the students or non-students to hand around school property.
7. Monitor and patrol parking lots before and after school.
8. Report to school security, non-students, suspicious individuals, or unusual activity on school property.
9. Challenge students to achieve goals.
10. Incorporate a violence prevention curriculum and/or peer mediation program.
11. Chaperone school functions.
12. Discuss policy with the students regarding the consequences of vandalism, hazing or bringing a weapon, cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs to school.
13. Make available to students training in personal safety techniques.
14. Provide a means for students to make anonymous reports about weapons, drugs, alcohol, vandalism, or theft.
Red Flag Kids
It is not always possible to predict behavior that will lead to student violence. Some of the warning signs that teachers, parents, and others should look for are:
- A student who withdraws from other students.
- A student who is a victim of violence, either at home or at school.
- A student who is picked on, left out, teased, or bullied.
- A student who expresses violence in writings and drawings.
- A student who displays frequent and intense anger in response to minor problems.
- A student with a history of impulsive and violent behavior such as bullying, defiance, and cruelty to animals.
- Students with intense prejudice toward other races, ethnicities, religions, languages, gender, sexual orientation, and/or physical appearance.
- Reduces self-control and exposes student to violence either as offender or victim.
- Students with easy access to firearms can have increased risk for violent behavior.
- Students who use specific threats of violence should be taken very seriously.