Violence in Schools:

Identification, Prevention & Intervention Strategies


Instructor Name:          Dr. Karen Lea

Phone:                         509-891-7219

Office Hours:               8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday


Address:                      Virtual Education Software

                                    16201 E Indiana Ave, Suite 1450

                                     Spokane, WA 99216

Technical Support:



Welcome to Violence in Schools, an interactive computer-based instruction course, designed to give you a better understanding of school violence and increase your interventions strategies.  Violence in Schools provides a foundational understanding of violence and the motivational purposes behind aggression.  The correlation with and impact of the media, community and family upon violence will be investigated.  The course teaches identification and intervention approaches for working with out-of-control behaviors.  In addition, each student will receive information on available national resources for both parents and teachers.  This course will help each person to increase his or her understanding of violence, the motivations behind the use of violence and specific strategies to minimize the occurrence of violence in a school and community. 


This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer.  Technical support information can be found in the Help section of your course.


Course Materials (Online)

Title:                Violence in Schools: Identification, Prevention & Intervention Strategies

Instructor:        Dr. Karen Lea

Publisher:         Virtual Education Software, inc. 2000, Revised 2004, Revised 2010, Revised 2013, Revised 2016


Academic Integrity Statement

The structure and format of most distance-learning courses presume a high level of personal and academic integrity in completion and submission of coursework.  Individuals enrolled in a distance-learning course are expected to adhere to the following standards of academic conduct.


Academic Work

Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the student’s own work or appropriately attributed, in part or in whole, to its correct source.  Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are one’s own work is unacceptable.


Aiding Honesty in Others

 The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.


Violations of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.


Level of Application

This course is designed to be an informational course with application to work and work-related settings.  The intervention strategies presented in this course may be generalized to all students (pre-kindergarten through 12th grade) and adults.  While an intervention may be geared toward a specific age population, with minimal modifications an educator should be able to adapt the strategy for his or her students.


Expected Learning Outcomes: 

As a result of this course, participants will demonstrate their ability to:

·         Identify factors contributing to violent behaviors

·         Develop strategies to address school/community violence

·         Effectively intervene, provide safety and minimize violent actions

·         Develop a “school violence” assessment with specific intervention strategies

·         Assess the climate of the classroom and school, making the necessary adjustments to increase safety

·         Address preventative methods within the school system for students


Course Description:

Anger management strategies have become an important topic in schools, businesses, homes and communities.  Our society is inundated with classes, books and counseling programs that explain various ways to “manage anger.”  Despite our best attempts, aggression and violence are still on the rise.  We regularly hear and read from various media sources how dangerous our society has become, especially our youth population.  This class will focus on developing new ways of handling violence without getting involved in the typical power struggles.  During this course, each person will learn specific strategies and practical ideas to aid in the reduction of school violence.  Key intervention ideas for developing a civil climate within each school will be presented, and identification and recognition of potential violence will be discussed.  Included in this approach will be an emphasis on safety for students and educators.  This course is not attempting to be a “cure all” or “fix it” approach, but will aid educators in their ability to develop a safer environment in a school and community.  In addition, it will help each person feel more qualified and capable of handling emerging violent behaviors within a school, home or community setting.


Student Expectations 

As a student you will be expected to:

·         Complete all four information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.

·         Complete all four section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.  You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, and successfully complete ALL writing assignments to pass this course.  *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

·         Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.

·         Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

·         Complete all course journal article and essay writing assignments with the minimum word count shown for each writing assignment.

·         Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.


Chapter 1: Why We Have Violence in Schools                                                                                               

1.       Introduction

2.       Statistics

3.       Types

4.       Risk Factors

5.       Why Escalating Violence, Part I

6.       Why Escalating Violence, Part II

7.       Media

8.       Reasons

9.       Characteristics

10.   Warning Signs

11.   Self-Awareness Activity

12.   Learned vs. Instinctive

13.   Gang Assessment Tools

14.   Anger/Aggression Activity

15.   Summary


Chapter 2:  Strategies/Prevention for Individuals

1.       Behavior Response

2.       How to Respond

3.       Avoiding Power Struggles

4.       Tips

5.       Controlling Anxiety

6.       Control & Direct Activity


Chapter 3: Strategies/Prevention for Schools

1.       Action Steps for Students

2.       Action Steps for Teachers

3.       Action Steps for Parents

4.       Actions Steps for Schools

5.       Patterns of Aggression

6.       Preventing Behavior

7.       Making Peace

8.       Decision Making Activity

9.       Confrontation Communication

10.   Changing Behavior

11.   Prevention Strategies

12.   Conflict Negotiation

13.   Crisis Planning Guidelines

14.   Possible Interventions

15.   Anger:  It Won’t Work Here


Chapter 4: Have a Plan

1.       Case Study

2.       Violence Prevention Training/Tools

3.       Summary



At the end of each course chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times.  Your last score will save, not the highest score.  After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access.  The average from your exam scores will be printed on your certificate.  However, this is not your final grade since your required writing assignments have not been reviewed.  Exceptionally written or poorly written required writing assignments, or violation of the academic integrity policy in the course syllabus, will affect your grade.  As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.


Writing Assignments

All assignments are reviewed and may impact your final grade.  Exceptionally or poorly written assignments, or violation of the Academic Integrity Policy (see course syllabus for policy), will affect your grade. Fifty percent of your grade is determined by your writing assignments, and your overall exam score determines the other fifty percent.  Refer to the Essay Grading Guidelines which were sent as an attachment with your original course link. You should also refer to the Course Syllabus Addendum which was sent as an attachment with your original course link, to determine if you have any writing assignments in addition to the Critical Thinking Questions (CTQ) and Journal Article Summations (JAS).  If you do, the Essay Grading Guidelines will also apply.


Your writing assignments must meet the minimum word count and are not to include the question or your final citations as part of your word count.  In other words, the question and citations are not to be used as a means to meet the minimum word count.


Critical Thinking Questions

There are four CTQs that you are required to complete. You  will need to write a minimum of 500 words (maximum 1,000) per essay. You  should explain how the information that you gained from the course will be applied and clearly convey a strong understanding of the course content as it relates to each CTQ.  To view the questions, click on REQUIRED ESSAY and choose the CTQ that you are ready to complete; this will bring up a screen where you may enter your essay.  Prior to course submission, you may go back at any point to edit your essay, but you must be certain to click SAVE once you are done with your edits.


You must click SAVE before you write another essay or move on to another part of the course.

Journal Article Summations

You are required to write, in your own words, a summary on a total of three peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles (one article per JAS), written by an author with a Ph.D., Ed.D. or similar, on the topic outlined within each JAS section in the “Required Essays” portion of the course  (blogs, abstracts, news articles or similar are not acceptable). Your article choice must relate specifically to the discussion topic listed in each individual JAS. You will choose a total of three relevant articles (one article per JAS) and write a thorough summary of the information presented in each article (you must write a minimum of  200 words with a 400 word maximum per JAS). Be sure to provide the URL or the journal name, volume, date, and any other critical information to allow the facilitator to access and review each article. 


To write your summary, click on REQUIRED ESSAYS and choose the JAS that you would like to complete. A writing program will automatically launch where you can write your summary. When you are ready to stop, click SAVE.  Prior to course submission you may go back at any point to edit your summaries but you must be certain to click SAVE once you are done with your edits. For more information on the features of this assignment, please consult the HELP menu.

You must click SAVE before you write another summary or move on to another part of the course.


Instructor Description

Karen Lea holds a Ph.D. in education. Dr. Lea has fifteen years’ experience teaching at the K-12 level and another fourteen years’ experience teaching education courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate level. Currently she is a coordinator for a cadre of instructional developers and project manager for aerospace online training. Dr. Lea has been professionally published over fifteen times and has served on over a dozen panels and boards, including serving on the NCATE (CAEP) Board of Examiners.


Contacting the Instructor

You may contact the instructor by emailing Dr. Lea at karen_lea@virtualeduc.comor by calling him at 509-891-7219, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST. Phone messages will be answered within 24 hours. Phone conferences will be limited to ten minutes per student, per day, given that this is a self-paced instructional program. Please do not contact the instructor about technical problems, course glitches, or other issues that involve the operation of the course.


Technical Questions

If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at and also the Help section of your course.


If you need personal assistance then email or call (509) 891-7219.  When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call. 


Minimum Computer Requirements

Please refer to VESi’s website: or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.


Refer to the addendum regarding Grading Criteria, Course Completion Information, Items to be Submitted and how to submit your completed information. The addendum will also note any additional course assignments that you may be required to complete that are not listed in this syllabus.


Bibliography (Suggested Readings)

American Psychological Association. (2015). Warning signs of youth violence. December 2016.


Beresin, E. V. (2016). The impact of media violence on children and adolescents: Opportunities for clinical interventions. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.


Blout, J. D. Rose, K. C., Suessman, M., Coleman, K., and Selekman, J. (2012). School violence, role of the school nurse in prevention. National Association of School Nurses.


Burstyn, J., Bender, G., Casella, R., Gordon, H. W., Guerra, D. P., Luschen, K. V., . . . Williams, K. (2001). Preventing violence in schools. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.  In-depth look at school violence programs (grades K-12)


Coloroso, B. (2009). The bully, the bullied, and the bystander: From preschool to high school—How parents and teachers can help break the cycle (Updated ed.). New York, NY: Harper Collins.  Investigates the relationship between bullies and their victims (grades K-12).  212-207-7000.


Conoley, J., & Goldstein, A. (2004). School violence intervention. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.  Analysis of school violence and proactive interventions. (grades K-12)   800-365-7006.


Cornell, D. (2006). School violence: Fears vs. facts. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.  Case studies used to illustrate assessment and interventions. (grades K-12)


Constitutional Rights Foundation. (2016). Causes of school violence. Retrieved December 2016.


CDC. (2016). School violence: Prevention tools and resources. Retrieved December 2016.


CDC. (2016). Understanding school violence. Retrieved December 2016.


CDC. (2016). Youth violence:  Risk and protective factors. Retrieved December 2016.


CDC. (2016). Youth violence. Retrieved December 2016.



Curwin, R. (2016). Helping your students cope with a violent world. George Lucas Educational Foundation. Retrieved December 2016.


Espelage, D. (2010). Bullying in North American schools. Florence, KY: Routledge. Research-based book on violence in schools (grades k-12). 800-634-7064.


Fry, R., and Kochhar, R. (2014). America’s wealth gap between middle-income and upper-income families is widest on record. Pew Research Center.


Garbarino, J., & Delara, E. (2003). And words can hurt forever: How to protect adolescents from bullying, harassment, and violence. Free Press. (grades 7-12)   877-888-1533.


Gerler, E. (2004). Handbook of school violence.  New York, NY: Haworth Press.  General presentation of interventions and strategies (grades K-12).   800-429-6784.


Greenberg, J. (2015). MSNBCs Joe Scarborough: Tiny fraction of crimes committed with legal guns. Retrieved December 2016.


Herr, N. (2016). Television and health. Retrieved December 2016.


Herrenkohl, T. I., Maguin, E., Hill, K.G., Hawkins, J. D., Abbott, R. D., and Catalano, R. F. (2000). Developmental risk factors for youth violence. Journal of Adolescent Health, 26(3), 176-186.


Huesmann, L. R., Moise-Titus, J., Podolski, C-L., and Eron, L. D. (2003). Longitudinal relations between children’s exposure to tv violence and their aggressive and violent behavior in young adulthood. 39(2), 201-221.


Knorr, C. (2013). Media and violence: An analysis of current research. A Common Sense Media Research Brief.


Langman, P. (2010). Why kids kill. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. Case studies of ten school shooters and what created the shooting scenarios, along with intervention ideas (grades 7-12).  

      (888) 330-8477.


Lansford, J. E., Miller-Johnson, S., Berlin, L. J., Dodge, K. A., Bates, J. E., & Pettit, G. S. (2007). Early Physical Abuse and Later Violent Delinquency: A Prospective Longitudinal Study. Child Maltreatment, 12(3), 233–245.


Lohmann, R. C. (2010). Teen gangstas. Psychology Today. Retrieved December 2016.


Lösel, F, & Farrington, D P. (2012). Direct protective and buffering protective factors in the development of youth violence. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 43(2), S8-S23.


Males, M. (2015). Age, poverty, homicide, and gun homicide. SAGE Open (5)1. Retrieved December 2016.


McNeely, R. (2016). Avoiding power struggles with students. National Education Association. Retrieved December 2016.


Mercy J, Butchart A, Farrington D, Cerdá M. Youth violence. In: Krug E, Dahlberg LL, Mercy JA, Zwi AB, Lozano R, editors. World report on violence and health. Geneva (Switzerland): World Health Organization; 2002. p. 25−56.


Muschert, G. W., Henry, S., Bracy, N. L. Peguero, A. A. (2014). Responding to school violence: Confronting the Columbine effect. Boulder, CO: National Criminal Justice Reference System.


National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). Fast facts:  School crime. Retrieved December 2016.


National Gang Center. (2016). Gang-related offenses. Retrieved December 2016.


National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Drug use, crime, and incarceration. Retrieved December 2016.


Povedano, A., Cava, M-J., Monreal, M-C., Varela, R., and Musitu, G. (2015). Victimization, loneliness, overt and relational violence at the school form a gender perspective. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 15(1), 44-51.


Prothrow-Stith, D., Oliver, J., & Chery, J. (2005). Peacezone Curriculum Series. Champaign, IL: Research Press. Program for teaching social relationships (grades K-8).  (800) 519-2707. 


Sedler, M. (2015). Communication PLUS. Retrieved December 2016.


Simmons, R. (2011). Odd girl out: The hidden culture of aggression in girls. New York, NY: Harcourt Books.  Understanding the culture of aggression in girls (grades 7-12). 800-543-1918.


Sollars, R. (2009). Never to grow up. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse.  Helping parents to keep children safe (grades 4-8).  800-288-4677.


Steffgen, G., Recchia, S., and Viechtbauer, W. (2013). The link between school climate and violence in school: A meta-analytic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18(2), 300-309.


Thomas, R. M. (2009). Violence in America’s schools. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.  Discusses escalation in violence, motivation, and interventions (grades 7-12).  800-462-6420.


Shandwick, W., and Tate, P. (2013). Civility in America 2013. KRC Research.


Trueman, c. N. Who commits crime? The History Learning Site. Retrieved December 2016.


Twemlow, S., & Sacco, T. (2011). Preventing bullying and school violence.  Washington, DC: American Psychiatric. Examines the range and complexity of school violence (grades 5-12). 800-368-5777.


Uhlich Children’s Home. (2013). The Uhlich report card. Retrieved December 2016.


Wood, A. (2016). Cruel and unusual punishment: Confining juveniles with adults after Graham and Miller. Emory Law Journal, 61, 1445-1490.


Youth.Gov. (2016). Risk factors. Retrieved December 2016.


Zhang, A., Musu-Gillette, L., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2016). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2015 (NCES 2016-079/NCJ 249758). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.

Course content is updated every three years. Due to this update timeline, some URL links may no longer be active or may have changed. Please type the title of the organization into the command line of any Internet browser search window and you will be able to find whether the URL link is still active or any new link to the corresponding organization's web home page. 4/13/17 JN