Resources for Children Having Problems with Violence at School

Any child who is exposed to violence at school may be traumatized by the violence. The good news is that there is a wealth of resources available to children who are having problems with violence in school. The bad news is that none of these resources amount to a hill of beans if the child who is suffering is doing so alone and in silence. As a parent, teacher, counsellor or anyone who has contact with school aged children on a regular basis, you may be their first line of defence against the violence. You may also be their first resource as someone who can provide a listening ear and point them in the right direction of other resources available to them.
School violence affects different children in different ways. Some children are skilful at hiding their problems with violence while others will act out in violent ways themselves when they are being victimized but are afraid to speak up. Younger children are some of the most difficult to analyze because they often feel guilty if they’ve witnessed violence towards others and may lie about it. The bottom line of all of these scenarios is that there is help for any child who has experienced or witnessed violence at or around school but it has to be determined first.
Some children who are at highest risk are those who have just started a new school, have a disability such as autism, are having financial problems or have experienced a life changing event such as the death of a parent or sibling. This particular set of children are very vulnerable and should be given access to resources such as grief counseling and family counseling so that they can talk out existing problems they have.
When considering what resource is best for a child that has experienced violence, the age of the child must be taken into consideration. Often times, the first step is to make younger children feel that they are safe. Another issue is to make sure the child understands that there is time to talk. It is not possible to rush a conversation with a frightened child who has been victimized. If the child is emotionally distraught, no matter what age, reassurance is paramount.
There are social workers, therapists and various other types of counselors who are available to help children experiencing school violence once the first step has been taken to discover the violence. Watch for changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, socialization and anxiety or stress to determine if your child may be experiencing violence at school then take advantage of all the resources that are available to you and the child to help get them back on track to a health school learning environment.