Crime Prevention Training for School Staff
It was the Riverhead School District that first implemented the training of their school personnel in various crime prevention techniques. Since 1994 when the plan went into effect, the schools in the district have seen a significant decrease in incidents of violence and other crimes. Where the norm in this impoverished school district used to include approximately five fights each school day, 1997 showed no reported fights at all.
Implementing this type of program into a school is not easy as the training of the staff requires a fair bit of funding which, these days, most schools don’t have. The comprehensive training program incorporates the enforcement of rules, intervention techniques and preventative measures when it comes to violence. The school staff is trained using principles from law enforcement and includes training to enhance awareness as well as coping strategies and treatment of violence and even crisis management. What this means in layman’s terms is that teacher and other school staff can be trained to handle incidents of school violence in a manner similar to a trained security guard or officer. The presence of properly trained staff alone is often enough to make an impact on the situation of a school that is having problems with violence and crime.
It has to be said that not all teachers and school administrators are going to be keen on the idea of being trained to intervene in a violent incident between students. Some would feel that this should not be a part of their job and in essence they are right since ‘enforcer’ or ‘security guard’ was likely not a part of their initial job description. However, for a school that is having a problem with violence and crime, it’s not only the students that are at risk but the faculty members as well. This type of training would help to lower the risk of danger for everyone in the school at any given time. This may make it worth considering for many more teachers.
To get the ball rolling on crime prevention training in your area you would need to contact the local school board. If you are a teacher or administrator then you could bring the idea up to your supervisor. The organizations that offer this type of training for teachers are easily found online or via the school district office. As for funding, this is something that will need to come from your school board or trustees. It may not be easy to get this together based on the dire financial situation of most schools, but it is an effective way to improve a school’s safety and help prevent school violence.