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Violence in Schools:

Identification, Prevention & Intervention Strategies


Instructor Name:

Dr. Karen Lea



Office Hours:

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday




Virtual Education Software


23403 E Mission Avenue, Suite 220F


Liberty Lake, WA 99019

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)


Violence in Schools: Identification, Prevention & Intervention Strategies


Virtual Education Software, inc. 2000, Revised 2004, Revised 2010, Revised 2013, Revised 2016, Revised 2019, Revised 2022


Dr. Karen Lea


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 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.


Instructor Description

Karen Lea holds a Ph.D. in education. Dr. Lea has 15 years of experience teaching at the K–12 level and another 14 years’ experience teaching education courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Those 14 years in higher education included 6 years as a dean at a university and 7 additional years in charge of assessment and accreditation at a university. Currently, she is a lead program development owner at Western Governors University. Dr. Lea has been professionally published more than 15 times and has served on over a dozen panels and boards, including the NCATE (CAEP) Board of Examiners.


Contacting the Instructor

You may contact the instructor by emailing Dr. Lea at karen_lea@virtualeduc.com or by calling her 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 10 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 www.virtualeduc.com and also the Help section of your course.


If you need personal assistance then email support@virtualeduc.com 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: www.virtualeduc.com 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)

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American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (updated 2017). TV violence and children. https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Children-And-TV-Violence-013.aspx

American Hospital Association. (2022). Youth violence prevention. https://www.aha.org/street-and-gang-violence

American Psychological Association. (2019). Warning signs of youth violence. https://www.apa.org/topics/physical-abuse-violence/youth-warning-signs

Beresin, E. V. (n.d.). The impact of media violence on children and adolescents: Opportunities for clinical interventions. National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth. http://nnomy.org/en/content_page/427-articles/586-the-impact-of-media-violence-on-children-and-adolescents-opportunities-for-clinical-interventions.html

CDC. (n.d.). School violence: Prevention tools and resources. http://medbox.iiab.me/modules/en-cdc/www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/schoolviolence/tools.html

CDC. (2020). Risk and protective factors. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/riskprotectivefactors.html

CDC. (2021a). Fast fact: Preventing bullying. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/bullyingresearch/fastfact.html

CDC. (2021b). Fast fact: Preventing school violence. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/schoolviolence/

CDC. (2019). School-Associated Violent Death Study. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/schoolviolence/SAVD.html

Children’s Safety Network. (2021). Youth violence prevention. https://www.childrenssafetynetwork.org/search/node?keys=youth+violence+prevention

Constitutional Rights Foundation. (2022). Causes of school violence. http://www.crf-usa.org/school-violence/causes-of-school-violence.html

Crooks, C. V., Exner-Cortens, D., Siebold, W., Rosier, M., & Baker, J. (2018). Building capacity to implement teen dating violence prevention: Lessons learned from the Alaska fourth R initiative. In D. Wolfe & J. Temple, Adolescent dating violence: Theory, research, and prevention (pp. 503–521). Elsevier.

Curwin, R. (2016). Helping your students cope with a violent world. George Lucas Educational Foundation. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/helping-students-cope-violent-world-richard-curwin

Education Week. (2022). School shootings this year: How many and where. https://www.edweek.org/leadership/school-shootings-this-year-how-many-and-where/2022/01

Everytown. (2021). Gunfire on school grounds in the United States. https://everytownresearch.org/maps/gunfire-on-school-grounds/

Fordham Institute. (2021). Children learn best when they feel safe and valued. https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/commentary/children-learn-best-when-they-feel-safe-and-valued

Frederique, N. (2020). What do the data reveal about violence in schools? https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/what-do-data-reveal-about-violence-schools

Fry, R., & Kochhar, R. (2014, December 17). America’s wealth gap between middle-income and upper-income families is widest on record. Pew Research Center. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/12/17/wealth-gap-upper-middle-income/

Gang Prevention. (2020). Youth gang involvement: What are the risk factors. https://www.gangprevention.ca/youth-gang-involvement-what-are-the-risk-factors/

Greenberg, J. (2015, October 5). MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: Tiny fraction of crimes committed with legal guns. http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/oct/05/joe-scarborough/msnbcs-joe-scarborough-tiny-fraction-crimes-commit/

Herr, N. (2016). Television and health. Internet Resources to Accompany The Sourcebook for Teaching Science. http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html

Huesmann, L. R., Moise-Titus, J., Podolski, C-L., & Eron, L. D. (2003). Longitudinal relations between children’s exposure to tv violence and their aggressive and violent behavior in young adulthood. Developmental Psychology, 39(2), 201–221. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.39.2.201

Lohmann, R. C. (2010). Teen gangstas. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/teen-angst/201010/teen-gangstas

Males, M. (2015). Age, poverty, homicide, and gun homicide. SAGE Open, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244015573359

McNeely, R. (2020). Avoiding power struggles with students. National Education Association. http://www.nea.org/tools/49922.htm

National Bureau of Economic Research. (2019). Does child abuse cause crime? https://www.nber.org/digest/jan07/w12171.html

National Center for Education Statistics. (2020). Fast facts: School crime. https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=49

National Center for Education Statistics (2020) Indicators of School Crime and Safety. https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2021092

National Center for Education Statistics. (2021) Indicators of school crime and safety. https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2022092

National Center for Education Statistics. (2021). Students carrying weapons on school property and anywhere and students’ access to firearms. https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator/a13

National Center for Education Statistics. (2021). Threats and injuries with weapons on school property. https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator/a04

National Center for Education Statistics. (2021). Report on indicators of school crime and safety. https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2021/2021092.pdf

National Gang Center. (2016). Gang-related offenses. https://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/Survey-Analysis/Gang-Related-Offenses

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). The science of drug use: Discussion points. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/criminal-justice/drug-addiction-treatment-in-criminal-justice-system

Ohene, S., Ireland, M., McNeely, C., & Borowsky, I. W. (2006). Parental expectations, physical punishment, and violence among adolescents who score positive on a psychosocial screening test in primary care. Pediatrics, 117, 441–447. https://www.apa.org/pi/prevent-violence/resources/violent-behavior

Rich, S. L., Wilson, J. K., & Robertson, A. A. (2019). The impact of abuse trauma on alcohol and drug use: A study of high-risk incarcerated girls. Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 25(3), 194–205. https://doi.org/10.1080/1067828X.2015.1007197

Sedler, M. (n.d.). School violence. [Course syllabus]. https://michaelsedler.com/wp-content/uploads/school-violence.pdf

Sedler, M. (2015). Communication PLUS. http://www.michaelsedler.com/

Shandwick, W., & Tate, P. (2013). Civility in America 2013: Incivility has reached crisis levels. KRC Research. https://webershandwick.com/news/civility-in-america-2013-incivility-has-reached-crisis-levels

Trueman, C. N. (2015; updated 2019, February 15). Who commits crime? The History Learning Site. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/sociology/crime-and-deviance/who-commits-crime/

Uhlich Children’s Home. (2013). The Uhlich report card. www.uhlich.org

Washburton, W. A., & Anderson, C. A. (2015). Aggression, social psychology of. Science Direct, 2015, 373–380. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.24002-6

Wood, A. (2016). Cruel and unusual punishment: Confining juveniles with adults after Graham and Miller. Emory Law Journal, 61, 1445–1490. http://law.emory.edu/elj/content/volume-61/issue-6/comments/cruel-and-unusual-punishment.html

Youth.gov. (2016). Risk factors. http://youth.gov/youth-topics/youth-mental-health/risk-and-protective-factors-youth

Zhang, A., Musu-Gillette, L., & Oudekerk, B. A. (2020). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2015. National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice. https://www.insightintodiversity.com/report-on-indicators-of-school-crime-and-safety-2020/


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.


9/27/23 JN