Site and facility assessments are crucial for creating a school atmosphere that discourages violence.
Solutions for school violence are as multifaceted as the cultural, socioeconomic and psychological conditions that create it.
Administrators, educators and architects are continually searching for solutions to better resolve these problems.
This much we know: There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Each school and district must thoroughly examine the factors that contribute to social instability within its unique student body and in its particular community.
The result? A comprehensive, custom-tailored action plan incorporating as many solutions as are financially feasible and politically palatable. These include:
- Teacher training that equips faculty members with the authority, confidence and practical techniques to diffuse potentially violent situations.
- Student support programs, such as mentoring, peer counseling and conflict resolution.
- Discipline codes that identify every possible threat to people or property and clearly define in every instance the consequences of code violation.
- Policies and procedural strategies, such as routine locker searches, visitor check-in and closed-campus policies.
- Site and facility assessment to ensure that the environment discourages inappropriate behavior by providing clear sightlines, secure door hardware and ample circulation space.
Comprehensive action that has the support of all stakeholders requires input by every group invested in the eventual outcome: teachers and other staff, administrators, school board members, parents, students, neighboring property owners and taxpayers in the surrounding community.