Violence Prevention Workshop

Students, parents and school staff want, need and deserve a safe learning environment and schools are supposed to be places where children are safe and secure. Yet recent headlines have shown the vulnerability of schools. Upwardly mobile parents had the incorrect belief that they were leaving school violence, drugs, and gangs and bullying behind. School violence had been happening in inner-city schools for a long time. Some people felt that since school crime and violence were confined to the inner cities and their ethnic populations, it was not their problem. Obviously, many were wrong. Imaginary boundary lines delineating the inner city, suburban or rural communities, whether school or societal, do not stop violence, gangs, guns and drugs. As incidents in Columbine, CO and West Paducah, KY indicate violence has occurred in rural as well as suburban communities. Who could have predicted a violent school incident on an Indian reservation (Red Lake High School in Red Lake Minnesota) or in an Amish community (West Nickel Mines School, a village in Bart Township of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania? It has taken place in colleges and universities (Virginia Tech, Oikos College, and the Texas Tower shooting). No community, large or small is immune. It is even taking place in foreign nations. School violence takes a variety of forms. This workshop will address school violence issues including bullying, suicide, gangs, and gun violence.