School Fight Prevention: Create a Safer Learning Environment

March 26, 2014
Open book in a classroom setting

How do you prevent fights in your school? 
A District Administration article discusses what schools and districts across the US are doing to prevent injuries to students and staff. One district, U-46 in Elgin, IL, trains staff to pay attention to the warning signs that emerge before fights break out, as this can help prevent situations from occurring in the first place.
Safety and security coordinator for U-46 John Heiderscheidt leads staff trainings in CPI’s Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® program, teaching them verbal and nonverbal de-escalation techniques that can help them both prevent fights and resolve physical conflicts more safely when they do arise. Strategies include removing bystanders who might egg a fight on, and using clear, simple, and direct verbal commands like “Stop fighting now.”

CPI's Executive Director of Research and Development Dr. Randy Boardman is quoted in the article, saying that the first step to handling a fight is to stay calm. Another key is to keep the focus on verbal intervention and use physical intervention only as a last resort. If students refuse to stop fighting and physical intervention becomes necessary, a team approach is essential to handling aggressive behavior in a way that’s as safe as possible for everyone involved.
Read “How to Prevent and Respond to School Fights” for more about how schools and districts like U-46 are training staff to handle fights and other issues. 

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