Discipline for Violence Prevention

Violence Prevention

Dr. Sally Pisarchick, author, is the director of Project Prepare, a preschoolgrant with the Ohio Department of Education, and Project Support, which useshigh school students as academic and social tutors. This noted lecturercurrently teaches courses at Kent State University.Questions for thought:1. What are some "tried and true" systematic strategies for violence prevention?2. What can teachers do about violence prevention? I. What We Do Know
  1. Start early
  2. Develop philosophical base
II. The Needs of Children
  1. Are attached to caring adults
  2. Act appropriately
  3. Demonstrate conflict resolution skill
  4. Are relatively free of a stressor
III. The Needs of Administrators
  1. To be part of every solution
  2. To facilitate professional effectiveness
  3. Commitment to child achievement
  4. Zero tolerance for violence
IV. The Keys to Success V. The Needs of Teachers
  1. Staff development
  2. Free-wheeling environment
  3. Administrators who value teachers
  4. Coordination of school policies
VI. Suggested Guidelines VII. Systematic Strategies for Violence PreventionVIII. Comprehensive Action Plan
  1. Cooperatively driven
  2. Open, on-going
  3. Includes evaluation and monitoring
IX. What Individuals Can Do To Prevent Violence X. Develop Standards

Self Assessment

To the degree you feel you are knowledgeable about the issues below or currentlypracticing in your position, check the appropriate numbers.

(1) awareness only (2) practiced somewhat (3) expert

No. Issue 1 2 3
1 The resilient child (and adult): The nature and needs of students at-risk.
2 Ensuring equity and mutual respect for all types of diversity while rejecting any form of violence as a form of conflict resolution.
3 Parents, administrators, teachers and student involvement in problem solving, making connections.
4 Communications skills, decision making, questioning techniques, listening skills.
5 Cognitive structures of behavior change/management (purpose and nature of discipline).
6 Strategies once disruptive behavior has begun - victim, bully and bystander: Preventing violence from escalating (evaluate, isolate, evacuate, negotiate).
7 Systemic mechanisms for keeping schools "user friendly." Building upon established pupil services and "prevention programs."
8 Collaborative consultation with students, professionals, parents and community to build community.
9 Conflict recognition and resolution; negotiation/mediation: skills and mechanisms.
10 Social skill development/anger, impulse control. Teaching responsibility, self determination, self advocacy.
11 Creative non-violent problem solving, academic and curricular techniques, learner accommodations, etc.
12 Stress management as a mechanism to respond to post traumatic syndrome.
13 Diffusing potentially volatile situations, i.e., crisis management physical/mental/emotional.
14 Developing an Action Plan. Making a commitment to non-violence.
*For the purpose of this assessment we define expert as someones the techniqueshis or her job and could comfortably teach others the necessary information orskills to implement such strategy. You may use the above assessment to chartyour own new directions. OR If you wish to make a contribution to thedevelopment of new methods and materials on violence prevention, please submitideas regarding any issue in which you consider yourself expert. If your ideasare published you will be given credit.
Name______________________________ Address____________________________ City, State & Zip_____________________ Job Title ___________________________ School System ______________________ Telephone _____________Fax__________ Return to: Sally E. Pisarchick, Ph.D. 14605 Granger Road Maple Heights, OH 44137 (216) 587-5960 Ext. 233 (216) 587-5356 (Fax)

Developing and Enhancing Emotional Intelligence

The Development of Emotional Control

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify feelings and eal with thefeelings appropriately. Students can learn optimism as an inoculation to preventdownward spiraling emotions. Negative/escalating interactions characterized byintolerance and/or hostility to negative expressions of children or adolescentsmay results in the railure of the student to develop internalized forms ofcontrol or appropriate expressions or responses of emotions. Learning theprocesses of a democratic environmnet and opportunities to practice peaceful,even when problem solving is necessary. Withdrawn and/or hostile aggressivechildren fail to attend to and/or accurately interpret others intentions. Theysometimes erroneously assume hostile intent. They lack skill in social problemsolving and verbal response strategies. They often don't "get it."

Top 10 Stress Strategies


  1. Manage-To-Prevent: Building into everyday curriculum management skills related to holistic living, people, time and money. Prevent learned helplessness.
  2. Work-It-Out: Under stress kids tend toward unwanted, unwarranted and unnecessary action. Avoid discipline issues by recognizing and responding to excess energy that may become misdirected. Get them up moving, large muscle groups, raising respiratory rate and therein altering blood and brain chemistry. *Breathing *Yoga stretch *In desk or beside desk isometric exercises
  3. Talk-It-Out: Magic circle, masks, truth sticks or symbols to use as a stimulator to speak truth. Stage carefully to avoid self or other attack.
  4. Music Hath Charms: Develop a library of tapes to determine and shape mood and tempo climate. Ask students to suggest/contribute. Adapt a class "musical signal" for serenity or other desirable emotional postures that may calm of cue. For somedepressed kids it is just as important to step up the pace as to cool it down. Build specific selections into ritual.
  5. Touch-It-Out: Create an opportunity for physical contact. Play or ritual activity in which kids can safely touch each other, i.e. high-five, hand clasp with partner, serial back massage, hand-to-hand communication, etc.
  6. Read-It-Out: Bibliotherapy, "dead poets soecity", select needs-based appropriate stories to directly and indirectly entertain and inform.
  7. Teach-It-Out: Bring as much novelty, variety and excitement into the curriculum to make it come alive, i.e. social studeis, Patrick Henry, et al. Direct didactic (moral or lesson).
  8. Write-It-Out (or draw depending on age): Use whatever medium, i.e. finger paint, crayons, cloth, newspapers and magazines for collage, etc. That excites, motivates, or opens channels of locked communications.
  9. Snap-It-Out: Picture you. Catch-it-with a camera. A Polaroid can be used to "stage" or catch mug shots to drive home - happy, sad, calm, on task (or whatever body messages that children need to better understand).
  10. Help-Em-Think-It-Out: Positive or successful thoughts when depressed or sad. Review strong points. Teach/practice writing or reciting several things in which child is successful. List areas in which child has accomplished something worthwhile of which (s)he can be proud; list areas of improvement. This list can be posted or kept in a private place to be used to reduce anxiety and motivate toward new goals.

Mediation/Conflict Management - Goals and Objectives

Conflict is a daily reality. Our needs, values, goals and opinions naturallyclash with those of others. Some conflicts are minor, can be easily resolved orsimply overlooked. Conflicts of greater magnitude and with major implicationsrequire a strategy for successful resolution. The laternative is destructivetension and deepening enmities. The school-parent relationship is potentially alengthy one. This relationship has a substantial bearing on the quality andeffectiveness of the student's education. Thus, it must be addressed and cannotbe ignored or left to go away. While it is true that individuals can possess anatural ability in the area of conflict resolution, it is also true thatconflict resolution can be taught, learned, practiced and refined.Definition: conflict occurs when two or more parties believethat what each wants is incompatible with what the other wants. A number ofassumptions can be made about conflicts:
  1. Conflict is an inevitable and important human process.
  2. Conflicts are likely to increase in times of change.
  3. Conflicts can lead to both creative and destructive results.
  4. Most people hold negative perceptions of the word "conflict."
  5. Many perceive conflict to be the result of failure on someone's part.
  6. There is no best way for dealing with conflict.
  7. Properly managed and constructively channeled, conflict can help maintain vigor and creativity in any field.
  8. Constructively managed conflict is a key ingredient in the quality of special education programs for systems and individuals.

Some Positive Results of Conflict:

  1. Better ideas are produced.
  2. People are forced to search for new approaches.
  3. Long-standing problems surface and are dealt with.
  4. Points of view are clarified.
  5. People's creativity is challenged.
  6. Relationships and communication are improved and enhanced.
  7. Essential rather than peripheral or irrelevant issues are differentiated.

Some Negative Results of Conflict:

  1. Some persons may feel demeaned, defeated.
  2. The distance between people may be increased.
  3. A climate of distrust may begin or be intensified.
  4. The end-product is impaired.
  5. The tendency toward narrow, subjective self-interest is reinforced.
  6. Negative and often irreparable conflict and harm can lie ahead.

Goals of Conflict Management:

  1. Recognize differences.
  2. Understand differences.
  3. Open and improve communication
  4. Develop new and different perceptions
  5. Develop new and different team cooperation
  6. Undertake well-informed decision-making.
  7. Develop mutual appreciation of opinions and positions.
  8. Search for agreement or positive outcome.

Using Conflict Recognition and Resolution Skills as Violence Prevention

Conflict Recognition and Resolution

Authenticity - Egocentricity = Charisma


Enable students to develop a personal action plan to improve their attitude,knowledge and skills of collaboration through conflict recognition andresolution. To break negative cycles, and needless power struggles in theclassroom, on the playground and other social situation.


Teachers will enable students to:
  1. Identify sources of conflict in personal relationships.
  2. Develop and identify and gain greater insight into their own behavior as a member of the class, the team or a reciprocal friendship.
  3. Recognize and carefully select appropriate heroes.
  4. Develop appropriate anger managements skills such as stress reduction, recognizing personal anger cues, rethinking old behaviors, developing new positive self-talk scripts, and replacing negative reactive behaviors with calm proactive behavior.


Additional resources

Procedures for Mediation

Ground Rules

  1. Mediator establishes ground rules. Each party agress that mediation is viable and they will honor agreements.
  2. Mutual respect is required and will be honored.
  3. Agree not to interrupt each other.
  4. Agree to remain seated.

Phases in Mediation

Phase I:
Introducation - Mediator explains Ground Rules and procedures.
Phase II:
Telling the Story - Parties tell what happened.
Phase III:
Understanding the Problem - Parties talk to each other.
Phase IV:
Alternatives Search - Parties think of many solutions, one possible solution is agree upon.
Phase V:
Resolution - Agreement is written.
Phase VI:
Evaluation or Monitor - Criteria for success agreed upon.

Role and Function of the High School Student Volunteer

The actual work of the high school student volunteer will be largely determinedby the sponsor based on factors such as needs of students and/or receivingteacher, time and place volunteer work is to be carried out, interest and skillsof the individual volunteers, etc. The following compilation is merely suggestedactivities that might be considered. The list is broken down into twocategories, i.e., support that is directed primarily to the sponsor, and supportthat is directed to the student with disabilities. The construct is somewhatartificial since in most instances, both should benefit. It is clearly inkeeping with the underlying principals of Project Support i.e., SUPPORT forindividuals with disabilities and the professionals who serve them. You mightconsider sending the list to prospective receiving teachers. Teachers who havenever used a HSTVs before may have some anxiety regarding what to have the HSTVdo. They may not consider all the "back-up" work that HSTVs do until the teacheris ready and organized enough to use them as instructional tutors. The list isnot all inclusive. You may have other ideas not listed here. Please share anynew and creative way you work with HSTVs on the feedback form in the addendum.

The Role and Function of the High School Teen Volunteer

1. Teacher Support 2. Target Student Support
Creating or preparting special instructional materials, preparing bulletin boards Instructing students in the proper use of programmed materials and equipment, e.g., scissors, computers, teaching machines, etc.
Typing/word processing Assistaing students with their clothing.
Laminating/duplicating materials Assisting students in learning to play and work together.
Putting away learning materials when not in use. Playing with and supervising students on the playground.
Keeping track of classroom supplies, maintaining emergency kit. Supervising students during lunchtime/library visits, assembly, film showings, etc.
Filing/organizing resources and materials. Listening to students read and tell stories
Keeping health and attendance records, measuring students' heights and weights. Reading and listening to students, playing games with students.
Collecting money for lunch, milk, class project. Role-playing stories with children.
Picking up supplementary materials from stockroom, library, etc. Leading group singing. Playing musical instruments for students.
Setting up/operating mechanical/AV equipment. Taking students to the nurse's office, cafeteria, etc.
Scanning teacher/professional journals for ideas. Assisting students in the practice of good manners.
Organizing games for recess and lunch hour. Assisting students on field trips, library visits, assembly, film showings, etc.
Preparing classroom for next day. Helping students care for classroom pets and/or plants.
Monitoring classroom for a few minutes when teacher is called out of class. Assisting students in finding information.
Working to keep the classroom environment comfortable, clean and inviting. Check room temperature, lighting, fresh air, etc. Helping students who fall behind others to catch up. Assisting student(s) who have been absent.
Developing teaching games. Explaining teacher's directions to students.
Responding to phone calls, running errands for the teacher. Assisting students in moving from one activity to another.
Monitoring room or hall. Demonstrating art techniques for students.
Data keeping (record, observe and report) Working with small groups on special class projects.
Accompanying teacher on field trips, to assembly, library, cafeteria, etc. Interesting gifted students in enrichment materials.

The Resilient Individual Exercise

Name:____________________________________JobTitle:______________________________ SchoolDistrict_____________________________Gender_______________Age______________Phone (w) __________________ (h) __________________ Grew up in (circle one)Rural Urban Suburban Fill out identifiable data only if you are comfortable. Passages: You are whatyou ever were. Your view of yesterday, today, tomorrow. 1. On a separate pieceof paper draw the floor plan of the home you lived in when you were aged 10(year you were 10 _______), and any outbuildings i.e. garages, barns, playhouses, etc. that particularly stand out in your mind. 2. In the margins aroundyour floor plan jot notes, phrases, messages, scripts of memories. 3. What doyou recall knowing/hearing by age ten regarding the following: a. View ofmyself, my personality, looks, abilities: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ b. "Our"family economic status ___________________________________________ religion_______________________________________________________________ ethnicbackground _______________________________________________________ c. My view ofmyself as a gendered being i.e. girls are...boys are...girls do...boys do...__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ d. Theperson to whom I turned for comfort, support assistance._____________________________________________________________________ e. My bestfriend(s) ____________________________________________________ f. My generalresponses to violence, interpersonal conflicts and/or uncomfrotable socialsituations _____________________________________________________________________g. Did you experience any particular enormous overall stressors in life i.e.physical, mental, social, emotional, if so what_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. What isyour current prevailing response to violence in the schools?_____________________________________________________________________ 5. To whator whom do you attribute your prevailing views regarding conflict, aggression?_____________________________________________________________________ 6. Whatare you now doing about Violence Prevention?_____________________________________________________________________ 7. What doyou plan to do about Violence Prevention i.e. what action will you take or haveyou taken? _____________________________________________________________________8. How can insight into your own behavior enable you to better understand yourstudents? _____________________________________________________________________

Planning for Violence Prevention Criteria for Effective School-Based Violence Program

School__________________________Name: (if desired)_________________________Approx. number of students_________Job title:_________________________________Following are several criteria for slecting or creating an effectiveschool-based equity program. Directons: Check out any projects in yourclassroom, building, or district. Use the following criteria to gather data.(Circle all that apply.)
Yes No N/A I don't know Classroom Level Isolated Free Standing Program Program Building Level District Level
1. What is my role in the project? Am I commited to personal involvement in any specific program(s)?
2. How will I measure my impact? Focus on results. What type of assessments?
3. How does the project fit with the school mission; my own personal msision? Does it suit my interests, needs, work style, etc.?
4. Is the proejct built on sound research? It is important to keep all personnel on the "same page." Begin by collecting the latest research data and sharing it with planners in advance of the first planning meeting.
5. Is the project comprehensive? Piecemeal programs will have less impact that leads to K-12 comprehensive, systematic, sequentially developed attitudes, skills and knowledge.
6. Is the project centered on behavior change? The program must be action oriented. What will teachers do differently? What will students do as the result? What skills must be mastered to create greater community and commitment?
7. Is there a parent involvement component? Schools must be "user friendly" to families as well as students. One must begin by keeping parents informed. However, it must move to resources so that parents can gain the necessary skills to implement changes in the home.
8. Is cultural equity a central part of the project? How can your programs draw upon the strengths of diversity within the district? What efforts are being made to speak to all students?
9. Is the project "teacher friendly?" If teachers do not find the program satisfying and workable it will fail. What mechanism is used to provide a forum, use the ideas, and energies of interested teachers?
10. Is the project cost reasonable? In this age of graeter need and shrinking resouces the efficacy of any program may depend on the cost. Questions go beyond dollars. What is the cost to the individuals involved in the implementation, their energy, self esteem, comfort with change, etc.? What staff development will be required?
Adapted from criteria of drug education curricula, the W. T. Grant corsortium onthe School-Based Promotion of Social Competence, in Hawkins, J. D., Catalano, R.F.; et al. Communitys That Care, San Francisco: Jossey, Bass, Inc. 1992; andComprehensive Health Education Foundation (1994).

Systematic Story Telling

Management Through Story Telling

  1. Tell stories to make a point. Tell storeis to bring fun to learning.
  2. Use props to invite interest or deepen an impression.
  3. When telling a story about one or your students, colleagues, administrators, etc., always begin with a heroic deed. Relate how s/he went beyond the call of duty to get a particular job done.
  4. Make sure it's true. Verify all facts.
  5. Stick to one idea or theme.
  6. Keep it short. People are more willing to read something they can get through quickly, and then they're more apt to remember and repeat it.
  7. Use names. People like to see their names in print.
  8. Make sure others see the story. Post it on the bulletin board or send everyone a copy. Be sure to give a framed copy to the person who is recognized. Think of it as an honor.
  9. Invite students to write stories. When they decide to write about another person make sure they get permission.
  10. Display and use stories when possible and practical.
  11. File stories under topical categories. Use stories from the past that really worked on such issues of success as reduction of tardiness, truancy, verbal or physical aggression, etc.
  12. Use story development, writing, sharing, in some part of every day curriculum. Storytelling works. It is a part of our heritage. All cultures, ages, genders, races, disabilities, levels of education have used storytelling as a teaching/learning tool.
Source: Adapted from Managing by Storytelling Around (1995) by David Armstrong,CEO of Armstrong Investment.
Violence Prevention/Reduction
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