When school is no longer safe
If you are in a school setting, you may have concerns about the school because it's in a dangerous neighborhood or because of the high incidences of fighting, bullying and other sorts of interpersonal violence.
What to do
- Review the school’s anti-violence and anti-bullying policies and programs
- Provide emotional support by listening to concerns, worries and problems. But don’t be too quick to offer advice, unless they ask for it. They need to trust that you are there for them when they need someone to talk to.
- Provide problem-solving support by helping them lay out their problems and potential solutions step by step, so that they work through their problems and figure out their own solutions. Again, don’t be too quick to simply tell them what to do or offer advice.
What to Avoid
- Don’t go it alone. Seek help for serious issues involving abuse, violence and/or suicide.
How to get help
- Work with school personnel on strategies to increase their sense of safety at school
- Meet with the school principal to express your concerns
- Meet with the School Resource Officer if one is available
- Check out the National Center for Victims of Crime’s Teen Victim Project for online material on community violence, gangs and other sources of victimization