School Violence: Experts Agree that Staff Preparation is Key to Preventing Tragedy

Cincinnati, OH, October 30, 2006–In the wake of several devastating tragedies, school safety is once again a heightened priority for educators and administrators nationwide. While it is critical to have response plans in place when a tragedy strikes, experts agree it is equally important, if not more so, to focus on preventing such a tragedy. One of the most effective ways to prevent safety incidents is through staff training and preparedness.

Many incidents that occur in schools can be dissolved, before spiraling out of control, with the use of conflict management strategies. “Knowledge is empowering. The more knowledge and training school employees have, the easier it is to recognize a situation before it occurs or to handle if it happens,” says Brian Taylor, CEO of Scenario Learning, the developer of the SafeSchools training and tracking system.

Training for schools and districts can often be time consuming and difficult to track, but SafeSchools offers a simple solution to this laborious task. Serving hundreds of districts in all 50 states, SafeSchools uses the approach of presenting a scenario and giving descriptions of possible outcomes from which a school employee can choose. The employee can then experience both positive and negative consequences preparing them for real life situations they may encounter. The SafeSchools program then tracks progress, assessment scores and completion allowing schools to easily maintain current records of their safety training.

SafeSchools, a leading provider of safety training for school districts, recently announced the release of a new conflict management series which includes three courses addressing student issues, staff-to-staff issues, and how to manage an angry parent. The newest course, Conflict Management: Managing the Angry Parent, is the first of its kind and is designed to teach educators key strategies on how to deal with parental concerns. “With basic conflict resolution skills, many instances of violence can be averted before they escalate,” says Dr. JoLynn Carney of Penn State, author of the conflict management series. The focus of the course is listening to parents and determining the reasons that underlie their concerns without escalating the conflict. The new conflict management series encourages schools to be proactive in their safety training and to promote prevention strategies.

SafeSchools also offers a variety of social behavior courses addressing issues including: Bullying, School Violence and Weapons, Sexual Harassment, Online Safety, and Child Abuse. All courses are authored by experts in their field and are delivered in a way that is designed to boost long-term retention of the material. SafeSchools offers all courses online or in CD-ROM formats and can be found at For more information or a free 30-day preview of any SafeSchools courses, please call 1-800-434-0154 or email


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