Violence in Schools:

Identification, Prevention & Intervention Strategies


Instructor Name:          Dr. Michael Sedler

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. Michael Sedler

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


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.

Course Objectives

·         To identify factors contributing to violent behaviors

·         To develop strategies to address school/community violence

·         To effectively intervene, provide safety and minimize violent actions

·         To develop a “school violence” assessment with specific intervention strategies

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

·         To address preventative methods within the school system for students

·         To write out an action plan for school safety

·         To complete a formal written evaluation of the school’s violence plan after implementation


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.


The course is divided into four chapters.  The intent of this course is to help each student “walk” through the process of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation in the arena of violence.  There are numerous worksheets that all students will be asked to complete for their own knowledge base.  Throughout the course, role-play situations will be presented to help each person recognize violent tendencies prior to their development into violent behaviors.  The chapters are sequential and should be completed in the order in which they are presented.  At the conclusion of each chapter, the student will be asked to complete an examination covering the material.  This type of approach will help all students gain a better understanding of what they have learned as they proceed through the course.


Student Expectations 

As a student, you will be expected to:

·         Complete all information chapters, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.

·         Complete all chapter exams, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.

·         Complete a review of any chapter on which your examination score was below 70%.

·         Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 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: Assessment                                                                                                                                  

1.      Introduction

2.      Statistics

3.      Types

4.      Why Escalating Violence, Part I

5.      Why Escalating Violence, Part II

6.      Media

7.      Reasons

8.      Characteristics

9.      Warning Signs

10.  Self-Awareness Activity

11.  Learned vs. Instinctive

12.  Gang Assessment Tools

13.  Anger/Aggression Activity

14.  Possible Motives


Chapter 2:  Planning

1.      Behavior Response

2.      How to Respond

3.      Avoiding Power Struggles

4.      Tips

5.      Controlling Anxiety

6.      Control and Direct Activity


Chapter 3: Implementation

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: Evaluation

1.      Case Study

2.      Identifying the Threatened

3.      Watch Your Language

4.      Resources



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

This course has two required writing components.  ALL ASSIGNMENTS ARE REVIEWED. Exceptionally or poorly written assignments, or violation of the academic integrity policy noted in the course syllabus, will affect your grade. Be sure to refer to the Grading Guidelines for Writing Assignments, sent as an attachment with your original course link.

It is highly recommended that you write and save all writing assignments in an external word processing program (such as Word or Notepad), and then copy and paste these into the course program so that you will have backup copies.

To save your essays:


When you select the question or article you wish to respond to, ‘Simple Text’ or ‘Text Edit’ will launch automatically. When you are finished entering your response, simply click SAVE. 

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


1)       Essay Requirement: Critical Thinking Questions

There are four Critical Thinking Questions that you must complete. You will do research on the questions and write brief essay responses relating it to the course content (and your personal experiences, when possible).  To view the questions, click on REQUIRED ESSAY and choose the Critical Thinking Question that you are ready to complete; this will bring up a screen where you may enter your essay.  You must write a minimum of 500 words (maximum 1,000) per essay.  You may go back at any point to edit your essays, but you must be certain to click SAVE once you have completed your edits.

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


2)   Essay Requirement: Journal Articles

This task requires you to write a review of three peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles, preferably written by an author with a Ph.D. (blogs and news articles are not acceptable) of your choice on a topic related to this course.  You may choose your topic by entering the Key Words (click on the Key Words button) into a search engine of your choice (Bing, Google, Yahoo, etc.).  Choose three relevant articles and write a critical summary of the information given in each article, explaining how the information relates to, supports, or refutes information given in this course. Conclude your review with your thoughts and impressions (200 words per journal article minimum, 400 words maximum). Be sure to provide the journal name, volume, date, and any other critical information to allow the instructor to access and review that article.


To write your essays, click on REQUIRED ESSAY and choose the Journal Article that you would like to complete; this will bring up a screen where you can write your review. When you are ready to stop, click SAVE.  You may go back at any point to edit your essays, 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 SAVE before you write another essay or move on to another part of the course.


Contacting the Instructor

You may contact the instructor by emailing Dr. Sedler at or 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)


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)


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


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.


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.


Lassiter, W., & Perry, D. (2009). Preventing violence and crimes in America’s schools. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.  A clear approach to what works and what doesn’t in preventing violence (grades K-12).   800-225-5800.


Lieberman, J. School shootings. (2008). New York, NY: Kensington. Studies the life of Kip Kinkel and offers insights into prevention and intervention (grades 7-12).  (800) 221-2647.


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. 


Sexton-Radek, K. (2004). Violence in schools. Westport, CT: Praeger. Academic explanation of the history and treatment of violence in schools (grades K-12).  800- 225-5800.


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.


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.


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.



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.



Updated 8/29/14 JN