Tragic events at K-12 school districts across the US have made headline news over the past few years. School shootings and other violent displays have caught the attention of the nation. Unfortunately, there are less publicly visible violent acts and day-to-day school safety risks that occur in K-12 school districts as well.
School fights are a major concern for many school administrators and staff members. Many times, school fights take place in hallways and teachers are the first responders. Although K-12 school districts implement their own school safety efforts and training, the consensus is teachers should not get in between two fighting students.
“It can escalate the situation,” says Mo Canady, Executive Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers. “You’re viewed as a combatant. There are a lot of strong kids on campus and you can get seriously injured.
Although K-12 school districts entertain a general policy about student safety and discipline, American Association of School Administrators Executive Director Dan Domenech recommends having a more specific school safety policy about teachers and staff intervention in school fights.
School administrators can provide staff and teachers with different techniques to prevent or react to school fights and violence. One way of doing this is by utilizing The Crisis Prevention Institute, a Milwaukee-based company, offering de-escalation training in partnership with school safety consultants like National School Safety and Security Services. They work with school districts to train teachers and staff.
A recent article explains The Crisis Prevention Institute’s techniques that can be used to stop or respond to school fights. Among the techniques are:
Waiting, if possible, for a team of adults to arrive or for a fight to wane before physically intervening.
Deflecting blows before they land, by learning how to quickly react and hold up a strong arm to stop a student from hitting another person.
Telling the students they’ve made a good choice when they stop fighting and thank them for doing so.
Taking the combatants to separate areas as soon as possible.
How does your school deal with school fights? Do you have a policy in place?
To learn more about the latest news regarding school safety, check out our other blog posts.