"A couple of other software providers I looked at didn’t have the same functionality...I always felt like I got an answer and somebody to walk me through it and to get back to me quickly, which I really appreciated."
- Senior Director, Cal Alumni Association UC Berkeley
The CDC defines school violence as “violent acts in a school setting that disrupt learning and have a negative effect on students, schools, and the broader community.” Despite schools spending more money on school safety than ever before, data shows that nearly 70 percent of schools report at least one violent incident every year.
Increasingly, experts believe that successful violence prevention starts with proactively addressing the root causes of violence as opposed to having a reactive, disciplinary system. In fact, data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that schools around the country that have taken this approach have seen more success than schools that continue to mitigate the side effects of violent incidents after they happen.
Here are three ways that schools have addressed the root causes of violence within their institutions, as opposed to simply reacting to it.
Community and Family Involvement
Increasingly, experts and studies suggest that violence often starts at home. One key strategy that has shown promising results in addressing the root causes of violence in schools is the implementation of programs heavily emphasizing community and family involvement. These approaches not only recognize the interconnected nature of a student’s home life and behavior, but acknowledge that violence is often learned from a child’s domestic situation.
70 percent of children in foster homes have been exposed to a traumatic experience at home
Children exposed to violence are 3.3 times more likely to engage in it as a juvenile
Children exposed to violence are more likely to be victims of violence and have academic difficulties
More than 3 million children witness domestic violence in America every year
Two crucial aspects of community and family involvement programs include communication and support, especially for students who’ve been exposed to violence. By offering targeted, structured support through programs such as therapy and counseling, schools can address the root causes of such domestic struggles, helping students navigate their difficulties in healthier ways and informing them what a safe home should look like.
Creating a collaborative network between the school and the student's family is also of paramount importance. When educators and parents work together, they can provide a more comprehensive understanding of a student's needs and challenges. Ensuring effective communication makes sure that everyone involved is on the same page regarding a student's well-being. Regular updates, parent-teacher conferences, and open channels of communication contribute to a supportive environment where challenges can be identified and addressed proactively.
Increase in Support Programs
As mentioned above, multifaceted support is one of the most important aspects of addressing the root causes of school violence. Extra support doesn’t just mean hiring more school resource officers (SROs) or counselors, but means providing students with academic, emotional, and behavioral support programs tailored to the unique needs of each student. According to Everytown Research, schools that have proactive, not reactive violence prevention solutions are seeing the most success, and that begins in many cases with increased school support systems.
It is important to approach support holistically, considering the overlap of academic, mental, and social factors in each student's life. By investing in comprehensive support systems, even with school grant funding, schools can create a learning environment where every student feels valued, understood, and equipped to overcome their personal challenges, thereby mitigating the risk of school violence.
Safety Software Can Spot Red Flags
While the speed at which technology is advancing is scary for some, the good news is that it has greatly enhanced school safety and security. Specifically, one of the biggest advancements in school safety technology has been the use of AI tools like gunshot detection technology, facial recognition, and predictive analysis.
Kokomo24/7® is currently leveraging the power of predictive analysis in its anonymous reporting and incident management products to keep schools safe. Kokomo uses predictive analysis technology to filter all anonymous reports, determining which ones are the most credible by assigning each a TruScore. These scores enable faster, and more appropriate safety responses from school leaders.
Kokomo also uses an incident management database to turn every historical issue into a data point that can be leveraged to predict and prevent future crises. Every piece of data and submitted case from an organization is analyzed, allowing school leaders to identify high-risk students and situations, ultimately helping students before it’s too late.
Some software companies move slowly or offer solutions that aren't cost-effective. At Kokomo, we pride ourselves on being nimble, because we know that student health and school safety can'tdelay. Schools that work with us have used our products to help prevent school violence.
At Kokomo, we believe our health and safety platform is a blueprint for building a cohesive safety strategy. Our team offers fast set-up - on the order of days, not weeks or months - and 24/7 user support. We offer competitive pricing and districts that work with us have seen significant savings with no decrease in quality.