• How has responding to school violence changed since Columbine? Twelve years ago, two troubled students opened fire at their Littleton, Colorado High School, killing 13 people and themselves. The Columbine High School massacre will forever be remembered as the worst school shooting in U. S. history, and one that has drastically changed our nation’s school system and the way we respond to school violence.

Since this massacre many schools have heightened their security systems, adopted zero tolerance policies, and implemented plans to increase communication among students, teachers and faculty about violence, weapons, bullying and other threats. Schools and communities as a whole have had to become increasingly aware of the warning signs associated with troubled students and school attacks since Columbine, and students, faculty and parents have had to become much more watchful of their surroundings at school and pay closer attention to unusual behavior.

Some schools have also starting taking special notice of outcasts and are encouraging inclusion to foster a sense of belonging and bridge the gap between students. • How are teachers protected from violence? Effective June 15, 2010 teachers have better health and safety protections in schools because of recent amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The revised Act requires school boards to take a variety of measures designed to protect teachers from violence and harassment in the workplace.

School boards are now required to provide information, including personal information, to a teacher about a student with a history of violent behavior. School boards are not permitted to disclose more than is reasonably necessary to protect the teacher from physical injury. Section 43 of the OHSA grants workers the right to refuse unsafe work. Bill 168 amends this provision by adding that workers may refuse to work, or do particular work, “where workplace violence is likely to endanger himself or herself”.

However, teachers may only exercise this work refusal if their students are not in jeopardy. This means that students cannot be left unsupervised and alternative supervision http://www. etfo. ca/AdviceForMembers/PRSMattersBulletins/Pages/Bill%20168%20Protects%20Educational%20Personnel%20from%20Violence%20and%20Harassment%20in%20the%20Workplace. aspx • What early warning signs are important for parents and teachers to respond to?

Some early warning signs include social withdrawal, excessive feelings of isolation and being alone, excessive feelings of rejection, being a victim of violence, feelings of being picked on and persecuted, expression of violence in writings and drawings, uncontrolled anger, patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating, and bullying behaviors, history of discipline problems, past history of violent and aggressive behavior, intolerance for differences and prejudicial attitudes, drug use and alcohol use, affiliation with gangs, inappropriate access to, possession of, and use of firearms and serious threats of violence. Can school violence be prevented and, if so, how? School violence is very common in lots of schools today. It’s become of the main reasons students fail classes and drop out of school. Lots of parents have even removed their kids from schools where violence is common. However, school violence can be avoided by following a few simple steps. Check students before they enter the school. This can be done with metal detectors, security cameras, or random checks. Monitor the hallways.

Teachers should stand outside of their classrooms before school, between classes, and after school. They should also have walkie talkies or another process to call the principal or police when violence breaks out. Some schools have police presence on campus. So, the police can intervene when violence breaks out. Hold students accountable for their actions. In the event that they are involved in violence, they ought to be punished by suspension and some kind of schooling to learn to prevent and control violence.

The punishment ought to fit the crime. Train teachers and other educational staff about stopping violence. Teachers and staff need to know what to do when violence breaks out. They need to know their limitations and what can be done to cease it. Reward students for good behavior. Lots of times when students know that they will get something worthwhile in return for their good behavior, their behavior will improve.

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