How To: Hold a Violence Awareness Week at Your School

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Every year, one in four students are affected by violence. Now is the time for you to raise awareness and educate people in your school on ways to prevent or reduce youth violence. With this awareness week, you will demonstrate the role people of any age can have in making their school and community safer.

  1. The first day promote respect and tolerance. Host group activities at a club meeting or in homeroom. For one exercise, ask participants to name three things they love about themselves, and three things that people tease you about that you wish would stop.
  2. On day two, work on anger management. Provide students free hot chocolate with the theme "Don't Let Anger Heat You Up" before school. Ask your school nurse or school psychiatrist to share tips on how to express the natural feeling of anger in a healthy way. Some examples include:
    • Counting to ten
    • Squeezing a stress ball
    • Going outside and screaming your anger out
    • Go on your computer and write about what is bothering you.
  3. The third day is conflict resolution. Take the opportunity to propose a peer mediation program at your school, which can go a long way to defuse violent confrontations. You can also organize role playing games where students can act out different conflicts and how to peacefully settle them. Some you can try out:
  • A friend has copied your homework without your permission.
  • Some classmates have been teasing you about your outfit.
  • You found out that your girlfriend went to a movie with someone in your class.
  • Day four involves safety. Invite your principle to explain all the school's safety procedures and policies to an audience of your peers. This would be a good day to introduce a box in your cafeteria or main office for suggestions on how to improve school safety. Inform people that you’ll be emptying the box every week and presenting the contents to the school administration.
  • The last day is your chance to unite the whole school in action. Get everyone together to write an anonymous pledge to refrain from violence and put it on a post-it on a school wall. You can also hold a violence prevention event after school hours to extend your message to the rest of the community. For that you can include informational booths and repeat some of the activities that worked best at your school.
  • Promote the entire week. For all five days send e-cards, post on Facebook, Tweet the news, write articles for the school newspaper, and appear on the morning announcements encouraging everyone possible to participate in the campaign.