How to talk to your students about trauma and school violence

It is an unacceptable reality that educators, parents, and caregivers must talk to children about gun violence in schools, repeatedly, in the wake of school shootings.

At the same time as stakeholders once again demand that lawmakers take action and protect the nation’s children while they are in classrooms–classrooms that are supposed to be safe–educators and caregivers are left with the heavy burden of addressing students’ anxieties and responses to trauma.

Conversations around school violence may feel uncomfortable, but many experts say open and clear communication can help students process what happened and feel safe in their classrooms, homes, and communities.…Read More

4 major components of school violence prevention

December 2021 saw the latest TikTok challenge encouraging students to make threats of shootings, bomb threats, and violence against schools. Some schools enhanced security protocols while others canceled classes entirely. Many of the threats were ultimately unverified, but even rumors of potential school violence were enough to incite major panic for parents and put school leaders across the country on high alert.

Though many students see social media challenges as a rite of passage or a way to fit in with their peers, what they may not realize is that students caught participating in challenges to make threats of violence or engage in destructive behaviors face severe consequences—including criminal charges in some cases.

It’s clear that schools must work with parents to inform students of the consequences associated with participating in these dangerous viral challenges. And with the spike in school violence over the last year, every threat should be taken seriously. So, what can schools do now to ensure their students and colleagues remain safe?…Read More

Pikmykid Prioritizes School Safety with Expansion of Features

TAMPA, Fla., Mar. 17, 2022 –  Pikmykid, the leading provider of school safety and dismissal solutions, today announces its latest features to provide schools with the most inclusive resources to implement a safer learning environment for students. 

The Pikmykid platform initially began as a solution for schools to streamline drop-offs and dismissals safely and efficiently but has since expanded to become a fully comprehensive safety platform. The platform now includes access to a safety panic button, enabling school staff to raise an alarm on any device for over a dozen different emergencies that can occur with one push of a button. While this feature will allow staff to take quick action against school violence or other unprecedented events, it can also be used as a resource for more common emergencies, including a medical crisis or power outage. This latest safety feature has allowed Pikmykid to tie dismissal, safety, and parent engagement all into a single, user-friendly platform.

Along with the installation of its safety panic button, Pikmykid has also added a  Daily Health Check-In module to help parents and teachers identify students who may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. The customizable health questionnaire allows schools to determine the most pertinent information they need to keep students safe. The survey only takes a few seconds for parents to complete and will provide school administrators a variety of insights about students’ health to ensure a safe and ongoing learning environment. The Daily Health Check-In will also help schools apply social distancing measures during morning drop-offs and dismissal and will limit the number of visitors allowed on school property. …Read More

Lightspeed Systems® Launches Lightspeed Alert™ Solution for Threat Detection of Suicide, Bullying, and School Violence

Austin, Texas, April 15, 2021- Lightspeed Systems®, the leading K-12 online safety and effectiveness solutions provider, announces the launch of Lightspeed Alert™, a threat detection solution for self-harm, bullying, and school violence, helping to provide schools and districts with early warning detection to prevent incidents and promote student safety.

Statistics regarding student mental and physical safety are startling. A recent survey found 93% of parents are concerned about their child’s mental health due to extended campus closures and isolation, and another study from the U.S. Secret Service found 75% of school shooters demonstrated concerning online activity before the incident took place. With these concerns, it’s critical for schools and districts to have the type of early warning threat detection that Lightspeed Alert can provide. 

Lightspeed Alert leverages smart AI to actively scan and alert on concerning student behavior anywhere students engage online. Real-time alerts and safety dashboards equip district and school staff with the visibility and tools to respond to threats and manage cases. For an extra layer of protection, Lightspeed Alert provides 24/7/365 human review by highly trained safety specialists who conduct a threat assessment of flagged behavior and escalate imminent threats via a live phone call to school district personnel or law enforcement.  …Read More

How this Texas district prioritizes SEL

The Covid-19 pandemic may be on everyone’s minds right now, but school districts grappled with another pandemic before the virus changed our world. School violence incidents such as the Parkland School shooting were increasing, and students’ physical and mental well-being were at critical levels.

New Caney Independent School District, northeast of Houston, Texas, understood that social emotional learning (SEL) and the missed opportunities to identify students with deficits played out in school–specifically in school violence.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) states that SEL programs “provide a foundation for better adjustment and academic performance as reflected in more positive social behaviors and peer relationships, fewer conduct problems, less emotional distress, and improved grades and test scores.”…Read More

The state of student safety

District administrators are under immense pressure from parents to keep their children safe and are investing money in school safety initiatives. Communities have shifted from the belief that “it can’t happen here,” to doing everything they can to prevent it from happening.

Twenty years ago, the concerns about student safety were about preventing classroom misbehavior, physical bullying, fighting, and drugs. Now, it’s much more complex and the stakes are higher. We are literally talking about life and death issues for our students. What has changed in recent years to explain this increase in personal self-harm, suicide, and school violence?

Related content: 6 reasons we’re using a student safety platform…Read More

Districts are using tech to prevent school violence

School violence regularly occupies news headlines, turning students into activists as they demand gun control and call on lawmakers and education stakeholders to drastically improve school safety.

This disturbing trend, including the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and the Nov. 14 shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., has prompted many districts to turn to technology solutions to put an extra layer of safety measures in schools.

Tools that monitor social media for threats, anonymous reporting systems, and databases to track and identify potentially preventable patterns among shootings are growing in popularity as educators recognize the importance of technology in preventing school violence.…Read More

Op-ed: Does this new curriculum cross the line?

New curriculum aims to stop spread of violence with “character development”

school-violence-characterUnfortunately, it seems that school violence has reached an all-time high, as ‘kids will be kids’ bullying has escalated from hurt feelings to suicide, and banned items from campus have gone from slingshots to guns. In a time when hardly any parent feels safe sending their child to school, or any student feels safe on campus, should schools now also teach what it means to be a good person?

At least one teacher thinks so.

Created by Bobbi Callis, a mother and full-time reading intervention teacher, Veracity Matters is a multimedia character education program for children in elementary school, which hopes to reduce the percentage of children who suffer from bullying and depression.…Read More