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School Violence - Prevention

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To prevent school violence, schools have looked at not just focusing on at-risk youth, but have also attempted to change the social climate and culture of their facilities. Teachers and administrators joined with parents, students, police, and the local community to help maintain a safe atmosphere in their schools. Safety programs were remodeled to be much more responsive not just to outbreaks of violence, but also to the signs of potential problems. Early warning signs were identified, including extreme or uncontrolled anger, knowledge of a student's illegal possession or access to firearms, students suffering the effects of extreme poverty, those targeted or making racist remarks, students with a low interest in school, and violence at home.

Classes were also added to educated students on human diversity and socializing. Thirteen state legislatures passed laws to aid in reducing school violence. Mental health requirements were added to some school curricula and in others funding was provided to increase the capabilities of existing mental health services.

More physical measures were adopted as well. Some schools installed metal detectors and security cameras. Police Students are required to pass through metal detectors before entering the John Bartram High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the 1990s, many schools throughout the country took such security measures to prevent school violence. (AP/Wide World Photos)
became a common sight on school property. Many schools adopted a "zero tolerance" policy for weapons, issuing automatic suspensions and even expulsions to students who brought weapons to school.

Alternate education programs have also been established for students who are unruly or incapable of blending in to local public schools. Programs have been added to help at-risk students, which usually involve mentoring and how to peacefully resolve disputes or problems. In general, schools have made a concentrated effort to reach every student, help with their social skills, and set expectations of academic performance.


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