May 21, 2016 06:29 AM EDT
Physical Violence In Schools Decline; The Unceasing Efforts Of Educators Is The Secret
High school educators are still working hard in a bid to oust physical violence on campus, and as a result, occurrences of school crime and bullying have declined considerably.
Amy Joyner-Francis, 16, succumbed to injuries suffered in an attack involving four students in a restroom at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, Delaware, The Associated Press revealed last week.
According to high school educators, physical violence at school can be eliminated and prevented by creating a positive culture where nobody is disrespected. However, that is not an easy task, and requires continuous efforts, notes Michael Allison, principal of Hopewell High School in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, and president of the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
This is something that needs to be thought to the staff, teachers and students, and more importantly, this is something that the leader has to represent.
Although resolving issues even before they happen is a top priority, Allison caters a means for peer negotiation and animosity settlement at his school.
Staff members including custodian teacher, or principal are not only responsible to build rapport with students, but also to report anything that appear awry to a person in authority who can effectively address the concern, Allison added.
A solid student-staff relationship is crucial in creating a positive environment where violence doesn't take place, Allison says. During his years as a principal, he realized that teens trust staff members when they are confident that they are there for them and will not hesitate to talk to them if needed.
Changing the culture of school is not something that can be done overnight and principal of West Port High School in Ocala, Florida, Jayne Ellspermann understands this. According to her, 13 years ago when she started working at her school, the culture was harsh, and it was only through the joined efforts of the entire school community that an environment where no one is disrespected could be created.
Changing the culture is possible by empowering the students, cultivating positive leadership among the student body, and simply making good decisions, Ellspermann added. In addition, during the week they made time to instill character development into the school, making good use of the few guidance counselors they have.
A school counselor at Pomona High School in Arvada, Colorado, Sandy Austin says to combat violence, creating a caring environment at school is the key.
Austin created the B.I.O.N.I.C. Team program (Believe It Or Not I Care) a decade ago when she was still working at a high school where many students committed suicide within a short span of time, according to reports on US News.
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