Wednesday, February 17, 2010

16 signs to a potentially violent student Early warning signs for teen violence

Early Warning Signs
for school violence

These are some early warning signs of a potentially violent student.  They are not inclusive.   If you have a child who is exhibiting these kinds of signs or know a student who is exhibiting these kinds of signs then it may be time to get help. 

These factors are generalized.  Most of us exhibited some of these signs when we were children.  However, a child who is showing multiple signs should be evaluated.  It is better to be safe than sorry.  One should leave conclusions about other people's children to professionals.  Any child who is making serious threats should be considered at immediate risk and assistence requested.

The warning signs are printed in a pulbication called Safeguarding our children, an action guide

  • Social withdrawal.
  • Excessive feelings of isolation or being alone.
  • Excessive feelings of rejection.
  • Being a victim of violence.
  • Feelings of being picked on and persecuted.
  • Low school interest and poor academic performance.
  • Expression of violence in writing and drawings.
  • Uncontrolled anger.
  • Patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating, and bullying behaviors.
  • History of discipline problems.
  • History of violent and aggressive behavior.
  • Intolerance for differences and prejudicial attitudes.
  • Drug use and alcohol use.
  • Affiliation with gangs.
  • Inappropriate access to, possession of, and use of firearms.
  • Serious threats of violence (also an imminent warning sign).
There are a variety of publications on the topic of keeping our schools safe.   The warning signs are only a small part of the Safeguarding Our Children Guide by the Department of Justice.  The bulk of the guide is devoted to ways to keep our children safe, including safe schools, academics and discipline.

These are 16 warning signs of a potentially violent student.  As mentioned, the list is not exhaustive, nor is it conclusive. 

If you have a friend who is exhibiting multiple warning signs you may want to speak to one of your teachers about the behavior, or consult professional help.   These types of behaviors are generalizations that must be evaluated by a professional rather than judgments made by peers.  However, it is always better to be safe than sorry. 

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