A safe school climate: a systemic approach and the school counselor.School violence continues to plague our nation's K-12 schools (Adams, 2000; Anderson, 1998; Lockwood, 1997; Welsh, 2000). Not only does school violence create a climate of fear and emotional unrest in a school, it is also an obstacle to the learning process (Gottfredson, 1989) and to the school's educational mission (Anderson; Sherman et al., 1997; Jenkins, 1997; Lockwood). While there have been dramatic incidences of school violence such as the school massacre that occurred in Littleton, Colorado The City of Littleton is a home rule municipality located in the Denver Metropolitan Area of the State of Colorado. As of 2005, the city is estimated to have a total population of 40,396. Littleton is the 17th most populous city in the State of Colorado. , on April 20, 1999, and the Jonesboro, Arkansas Jonesboro is a city in Craighead County, Arkansas, United States. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 59,358. Jonesboro is the county seat, the largest city in northeast Arkansas, and the fifth most populous city in the state. , schoolyard shooting on March 24, 1998, violence of a much more insidious insidious /in·sid·i·ous/ (-sid´e-us) coming on stealthily; of gradual and subtle development.
Being a disease that progresses with few or no symptoms to indicate its gravity. and subtle nature occurs every school day. School violence is not only overt actions, such as shootings and physical fights, but is also subtly expressed in a school climate that can engender en·gen·der
v. en·gen·dered, en·gen·der·ing, en·gen·ders
1. To bring into existence; give rise to: "Every cloud engenders not a storm" fear in any student (Dorsey, 2000). Examples are a student not speaking up in class for fear of being ridiculed; being called a "faggot" because of perceptions of a student's sexual orientation sexual orientation
The direction of one's sexual interest toward members of the same, opposite, or both sexes, especially a direction seen to be dictated by physiologic rather than sociologic forces. ; backbiting back·bite
v. back·bit , back·bit·ten , back·bit·ing, back·bites
To speak spitefully or slanderously about (another).
v.intr. ; verbal teasing teasing
the act of parading a male before a female to see if she displays estrus, and is therefore in a state where mating is likely to be fertile. and insults; offensive touching such as throws, slaps and pushes; and racial, ethnic, and/or sexist sex·ism
1. Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.
2. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender. comments that are based on a student's physical appearance. In fact, Hazier, Hoover, and Oliver (1996) reported that three-fourths of the school students they surveyed indicated that they experienced harassment Ask a Lawyer
Country: United States of America
I recently moved to nev.from abut have been going back to ca. every 2 to 3 weeks for med. and bullying Bullying
Chowne, Parson Stoyle
terrorizes parish; kidnaps children. [Br. Lit.: The Maid of Sker, Walsh Modern, 94–95]
bully; becomes thief in Fagin’s gang. [Br. Lit. to such an extent that they suffered academic, personal, and social difficulties. Thus school violence can be both obvious and insidious, and profoundly impact the school climate.
School climate consists of the related factors of attitude, feeling, and behavior of individuals within the school system. Dorsey (2000) views school climate as involving four key relationships: the relationship of a student to him or herself; a student to his or her peers; a student to his or her parents and community; and a student to his or her school workers, including teachers, administrators, and all staff. While focusing on interrelationships, Welsh (2000) also included cognitions in his definition; "The unwritten LAW, UNWRITTEN, or lex non scripta. All the laws which do not come under the definition of written law; it is composed, principally, of the law of nature, the law of nations, the common law, and customs. beliefs, values, and attitudes that become the style of interaction between students, teachers, and administrators. School climate sets the parameters of acceptable behavior among all school actors, and it assigns individual and institutional responsibility for school safety" (p. 89).
The climate of the school is central to the educational mission of a school (Anderson, 1998; Sherman et al., 1997; Jenkins, 1997; Lockwood, 1997). Anderson surveyed recent school safety research and found that altering a school's internal climate can have a significant positive effect on the feeling of safety in the school community. Gottfredson (1989) and Sherman et al. reviewed studies that examined school climate and concluded that how schools are run is directly related to the level of behavioral disruptions in schools. For example, schools in which administration and faculty lack communication and do not work together to problem solve have lower teacher morale and higher student disorder, and schools where rules and reward structures are unclear, and where there are ambiguous consequences (e.g., lowering of grades due to misbehaviors), experience more disorder. Further, schools in which students do not believe they belong and feel uncared Un`cared´
a. 1. Not cared for; not heeded; - with for. for by school personnel experience higher levels of disorder (Gottfredson, Sherman et al.). Gottfredson delineated de·lin·e·ate
tr.v. de·lin·e·at·ed, de·lin·e·at·ing, de·lin·e·ates
1. To draw or trace the outline of; sketch out.
2. To represent pictorially; depict.
3. additional specific school climate factors that contribute to unsafe schools: schools that ignore misconduct; schools in which teachers and administrators have disagreement about or do not know the rules; and schools where students do not believe in the rules. Conversely con·verse 1
intr.v. con·versed, con·vers·ing, con·vers·es
1. To engage in a spoken exchange of thoughts, ideas, or feelings; talk. See Synonyms at speak.
2. , factors such as high expectations among school staff, students, and parents for student achievement, orderly school and classroom environments, high morale among school staff and students, positive treatment of students, active engagement of students, and positive social relationships among students positively impact school climate (Stockard & Mayberry, 1992). This research suggests that school violence is a reflection of the school climate.
Therefore, from a school climate perspective, school violence may be defined as "any action from or affecting youth that negatively impacts the social climate within a school" (Dorsey, 2000). This is consistent with the Center for the Prevention of School Violence's (2000) view that "any behavior that violates a school's educational mission or climate of respect or jeopardizes the intent of the school to be free of aggression against persons or property, drugs, weapons, disruptions, and disorder" (p. 2) may be characterized as school violence. Negative actions that such as mean or hurtful hurt·ful
Causing injury or suffering; damaging.
hurt words and looks, signs or overt acts An open, manifest act from which criminality may be implied. An outward act done in pursuance and manifestation of an intent or design.
An overt act is essential to establish an attempt to commit a crime. (e.g., slapping, hitting, tripping, hair pulling), and covert COVERT, BARON. A wife; so called, from her being under the cover or protection of her husband, baron or lord. acts (e.g., ostracizing, manipulating friendships, ignoring or violating a person's wishes or rights) can be viewed as violence, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. this definition (Remboldt, 1994).
Since violence is a systemic problem, it takes a systemic effort to address school safety (Remboldt, 1994). Effective school violence prevention has to affect the complete social systemic gestalt Gestalt (gəshtält`) [Ger.,=form], school of psychology that interprets phenomena as organized wholes rather than as aggregates of distinct parts, maintaining that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. of the school (Nims, 2000), including both written policies and procedures Policies and Procedures are a set of documents that describe an organization's policies for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill the policies. They are often initiated because of some external requirement, such as environmental compliance or other governmental , and the unspoken and unwritten norms regarding values, beliefs, and the behaviors of individuals within the school. Therefore, one way to address school violence is to create a safe school climate, Because of their knowledge, skills, and education, school counselors A school counselor is a counselor and educator who works in schools, and have historically been referred to as "guidance counselors" or "educational counselors," although "Professional School Counselor" is now the preferred term. are uniquely positioned to institute the development of safe climates in schools and can serve as advocates for school change. A systemic conceptualization con·cep·tu·al·ize
v. con·cep·tu·al·ized, con·cep·tu·al·iz·ing, con·cep·tu·al·iz·es
To form a concept or concepts of, and especially to interpret in a conceptual way: of school climate is offered as one way to understand and prevent school violence.
A SYSTEMIC CONCEPTUALIZATION OF SCHOOL CLIMATE
Three components comprise a safe school (see Figure): Context, psychosocial psychosocial /psy·cho·so·cial/ (si?ko-so´shul) pertaining to or involving both psychic and social aspects.
Involving aspects of both social and psychological behavior. variables and school behaviors. These components are closely related to one another.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
The first component, Context, refers to the school atmosphere, individual members of the school community and their relationships within the school, and societal so·ci·e·tal
Of or relating to the structure, organization, or functioning of society.
Adj. influences such as the local community and the school board. A major element of Context is the philosophical assumptions about how school members treat each other and how the school addresses violence. These assumptions include the unspoken norms and beliefs about how school personnel (including teachers, coaches, school counselors, staff, and administrators) treat each other and students, and how students treat each other and school personnel. These norms and beliefs are embodied em·bod·y
tr.v. em·bod·ied, em·bod·y·ing, em·bod·ies
1. To give a bodily form to; incarnate.
2. To represent in bodily or material form: in school rules and policies regarding codes of conduct and how violations of these codes are addressed. Further, the local community impacts the philosophical assumptions held by the school. Finally, the school board also impacts these assumptions. Schools also function as an important socializing agent in the development of young people. Social norms and values held by society in general, and the local community in particular, are played out in the school. For example, societal attitudes about homosexuality are reflected in school policy and treatment of students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual bisexual /bi·sex·u·al/ (-sek´shoo-al)
1. pertaining to or characterized by bisexuality.
2. an individual exhibiting bisexuality.
3. pertaining to or characterized by hermaphroditism.
4. , and transgendered transgendered adjective Relating to a person who has undergone genital/sexual reassignment surgery Transgender health issues Hormonal therapy, cosmetic surgery, fertility options–eg, egg and sperm banking. See Sexual reassignment. Cf Transsexual. . Thus the school acts as a socializing agent when it chooses to actively combat, or chooses to ignore, trivialize, or tolerate homophobic ho·mo·pho·bi·a
1. Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men.
2. Behavior based on such a feeling.
[homo(sexual) + -phobia. comments. This can also be the case around issues of gender, race, ethnicity, ability, and other issues of difference. In essence, community members' (including parents/guardians and the school board) attitudes about behavior and violence influence children's and school personnel's actions in the halls, and in all activities.
There are a number of psychosocial variables that impact school climate. These include: definition of violence, behavioral and academic expectations, issues of difference, locus of control locus of control
A theoretical construct designed to assess a person's perceived control over his or her own behavior. The classification internal locus indicates that the person feels in control of events; external locus , rewards, advising, interpersonal relationships This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the for details.
This article has been tagged since September 2007. , level of communication and cooperation, perceptions of school safety, and student input into school affairs.
Definition of violence. A major factor in the development of the safe school climate is a clear definition of school violence. Remboldt (1994) asserts that it is a lack of "a clear, all-encompassing and universally acceptable definition of violence--one that all students and educators can understand, accept, and use to identify or recognize violent incidents when they occur or when they are about to occur" (p. 15)--that severely impairs the ability of the school to create a safe school climate. A consensus agreement regarding the definition of violence determines the presence or lack and degree of acceptability or unacceptability of violence (Howell & Hawkins, 1998). The responsibility of defining what parameters of behavior are acceptable falls squarely within the purview The part of a statute or a law that delineates its purpose and scope.
Purview refers to the enacting part of a statute. It generally begins with the words be it enacted and continues as far as the repealing clause. of the entire school community. That is, students, faculty, staff, administration, parents, community members, and the school board should all be involved in this process. Even support personnel such as bus drivers, lunchroom attendants, crossing guards as well as maintenance staff have a stake in the process of defining what is violence and what is acceptable behavior. This consensual CONSENSUAL, civil law. This word is applied to designate one species of contract known in the civil laws; these contracts derive their name from the consent of the parties which is required in their formation, as they cannot exist without such consent.
2. definition of violence has a direct impact on behavioral expectations.
Behavioral expectations. Defining the parameters of acceptable behavior through codes of conduct and rules are also essential to the creation of a safe school climate. All members of the school community need to understand what behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not. Just as all school and community members are involved in the definition of violence, they are also involved in the creation of codes of conduct. The rules that embody em·bod·y
tr.v. em·bod·ied, em·bod·y·ing, em·bod·ies
1. To give a bodily form to; incarnate.
2. To represent in bodily or material form: these codes of conduct refer to specific standards of behavior for all members of the school community, not just students. Rules may address such areas as standards of dress, comportment com·port·ment
Noun 1. comportment - dignified manner or conduct
mien, bearing, presence
personal manner, manner - a way of acting or behaving , fair treatment of others, what (if any) teasing and joking is acceptable, physical touch, and what the consequences for transgressions of these behaviors are. Rules need to be clear and fair and should be enforced consistently (Adams, 2000; Furlong furlong: see English units of measurement. & Morrison, 2000; Gottfredson, 1989; Sherman et al., 1997; Remboldt, 1994; Welsh, 2000). Further, codes of student conduct should set unambiguous and high expectations for student behavior and should also specify consequences of violations of the code clearly, in writing, providing specific procedures to be followed in the case of a violation (Cloud, 1997). Typically, codes of conduct focus solely on student behavior (e.g., see Cloud). We suggest that schools adopt codes of conduct that address behavior for all members of the school community. Thus, the code of conduct should also apply to staff members as well as students. Adults need to be able to model the behavior they expect from students, and students need to see that respectful re·spect·ful
Showing or marked by proper respect.
re·spectful·ly adv. and courteous cour·te·ous
Characterized by gracious consideration toward others. See Synonyms at polite.
[Middle English corteis, courtly, from Old French, from cort, court; see behavior is expected of the adults as well as them. In addition, emphasis tends to be placed on what is considered inappropriate behavior. While this is certainly important, it is also essential to specify what is appropriate behavior and to provide examples thereof. In many cases school officials assume that students and other members of the school community know what is acceptable behavior. This may be an erroneous erroneous adj. 1) in error, wrong. 2) not according to established law, particularly in a legal decision or court ruling. assumption, and students in particular may need to be taught appropriate ways to interact with one another (Cloud).
Academic expectations. High academic expectations for students challenges students to be academically successful and also to feel more closely bonded with their school. Thus, students who are committed to their schoolwork feel more connected to their school and are therefore less likely to commit acts of violence (Furlong & Morrison, 2000). In addition, high expectations for academic achievement among school staff and parents leads to greater focus on academics and a decreased tendency towards violent acts (Griffith, 2000).
Like behavioral expectations, the academic expectations of students also must also be clearly defined. Expected competencies or knowledge content, evaluation of student work, and assessment measures must all be clearly articulated such that students understand how to accomplish their intended goals.
Issues of difference. Difference refers to individual characteristics that impact how one experiences the world and is perceived and treated by others and society, at large. This includes, but is not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion/spirituality, ability, weight and physical size, and national origin. All members of a school have the right to feel safe regardless of difference. Thus, respect for each individual is imperative in creating a safe school climate. Cloud (1997) suggests that a comprehensive program addressing race and ethnicity should be a part of the K-12 curriculum in order to counteract bias, violence, and inter-group conflict. Although Cloud only refers to difference in terms of race and ethnicity, his proposal can be expanded to include all issues of difference.
Locus of control. Locus of control refers to "an individual's expectations of ability to control his or her experiences" (Dykeman, Daehlin, Doyle, & Flamer, 1996, p. 38). Dykeman et al. found an external locus of control, lack of empathy empathy
Ability to imagine oneself in another's place and understand the other's feelings, desires, ideas, and actions. The empathic actor or singer is one who genuinely feels the part he or she is performing. , and impulsivity to be antecedents to violent behavior in schools. They argue that schools need to stimulate an internal locus of control in their students. Thus student responsibility and an internal locus of control need to be encouraged (Baker, 1998) as a support of a safe school climate.
Rituals and traditions. Peterson and Deal (1998) suggest that traditions and rituals are an important part of a school's climate. The fostering of support and celebration of community ensures a positive school atmosphere. Thus school leaders need to develop and honor positive school traditions and honors. For example, ceremonies may be used to recognize successes of students and teachers during the course of school day. Additionally, schools may meet regularly with students to show support and caring for hard work. In essence, celebrating the positive helps build a positive school climate.
Taking a stand. In many schools, students may feel reluctant to share that another student is or has been violent. This may be a result of students believing that they may be bullied bul·ly 1
n. pl. bul·lies
1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.
2. A hired ruffian; a thug.
3. A pimp.
4. and/or ostracized for following the rules. A healthy school climate would reinforce students alerting administrators and/or school staff about violations that threaten school safety. In such a school, students would recognize that they have significant impact on the degree of safety within their school. Thus, students with knowledge of potential or actual violent behavior may feel more responsible and empowered to speak out to ensure a safe school.
Interpersonal relationships. Osher and Warger (1998) indicate that excessive feelings of isolation and social withdrawal are common early signs of potential violent behavior. While intimate relationships An intimate relationship is a particularly close interpersonal relationship. It is a relationship in which the participants know or trust one another very well or are confidants of one another, or a relationship in which there is physical or emotional intimacy. may not eliminate dangerous behaviors, they do decrease the risk (Giggans & Levy, 1997). Positive peer relationships may reduce disruptive or violent behaviors (Dykeman et al., 1996; Nims, 2000); thus, strong interpersonal relationships with peers (Griffith, 2000) and adults (Furlong & Morrison, 2000) can play a prominent role in a positive school climate.
Levels of communication and cooperation. The way schools are run influences the school climate. The administration sets the tone for the kind of communication and cooperation that occurs in schools. Fostering "an atmosphere of inclusiveness, open communication and shared decision-making on safety and other important issues with students, staff, and parents" (p. 159) is crucial to school climate (Anderson, 1998). For example, in a review of I studies that examined school climate Sherman et al. (1997) concluded that "schools in which the administration and faculty communicate and work together to plan for change and solve problems have higher teacher morale and less disorder" (p. 5). High morale among staff and students also contributes to q effective schooling (Furlong & Morrison, 2000). While the administration sets the tone, all school members have an impact on the level of communication and cooperation within the school.
Perceptions of school safety. School members' perceptions of the school climate impact school behavior (Welsh, 2000). As fear increases, confidence in the administration may diminish, and the informal social controls against violence may weaken. In response to this fear, students may bring weapons to school, retaliate more often or act out behaviorally (Welsh). Thus increasing school members' perceptions of safety is crucial to decreasing violence.
School bonding. Schools in which students feel respected, see the fairness and clarity of rules, and participate in the planning and implementation of rules, are schools in which students experience a sense of connectedness. Welsh (2000) argued that respect for students has a great influence on lowering levels of victimization victimization Social medicine The abuse of the disenfranchised–eg, those underage, elderly, ♀, mentally retarded, illegal aliens, or other, by coercing them into illegal activities–eg, drug trade, pornography, prostitution. . Schools that involved students in the setting of disciplinary measures were seen as far more effective at reducing instances of victimization in schools than those schools that only relied on teacher assessments of a punishments' fairness (Anderson, 1998). Additionally, the promotion of school bonding and achievement through school involvement was a proactive way to prevent school violence. For example, school pride campaigns and expanded extracurricular activities may increase a feeling of connection between student and school (Howell & Hawkins, 1998).
School behaviors and the safe school. Clearly the components of a safe school (e. g., sense of belonging, expectation of school safety, positive social relationships, mutual trust and respect, and student influence on school affairs) affect school members' behaviors. Conversely those behaviors influence the perception and the reality of a safe school. A coach who uses ridicule to motivates students may well encourage a set of student behaviors that threaten the sense of school safety. For example, calling students "sissies" as a way to increase performance may likely support students teasing other students who may not follow rigid gender roles. Thus students who know about this coach's interpersonal style may perceive the school as an unsafe place by virtue of the coach's presence in the school. Additionally, the school context also influences school behaviors. The context consists of personalities, formal and informal structures, and roles and creates formal psychosocial factors that mold school behaviors. By the same token, the perception of that context can shape the safety of the school and thus the school climate.
IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL COUNSELORS
Recently, Osher & Warger (1998) stated:
Effective and safe schools are places where there is strong leadership, caging faculty, parent and community involvement--including law enforcement officials--and student participation in the design of programs and policies. Effective and safe schools are also places where prevention and intervention programs are based upon careful assessment of student problems, where community members help set measurable goals and objectives, where research-based prevention and intervention approaches are used, and where evaluations are conducted regularly to ensure that programs are meeting stated goals.... Effective schools ensure that the physical environment of the school is safe and that school-wide policies are in place to support responsible behaviors. (p. 19)
While the entire school community is responsible for the creation of a safe learning environment, school counselors may play a leadership role in encouraging the adoption of such a process for the school and community (Cunningham & Sandhu, 2000). School counselors' knowledge of counseling, classroom guidance, consultation, and coordination services position them to be effective catalysts and advocates for systemic change within their school. Research indicates that comprehensive school counseling programs impact school climate (Gysbers, Hughey, Starr, & Lapan, 1992). Examining the link between more fully implemented school counseling programs and student perceptions of a more positive school climate within their school, Lapan, Gysbers, and Sun (1997) found that students in schools with more fully implemented school counseling programs had a more positive experience, believed that the school more adequately prepared them, that their peers behaved better in school, and experienced a sense of belonging and safety. In fact, a comprehensive developmental school counseling program in every, elementary, middle, and high school is a necessary component of any effort directed at school safety (Nims, 2000). School counselors can ensure that such a program is school-wide and reaches all students (Leone, Mayer, Malmgren, & Meisel, 2000).
Since a universally acceptable definition of violence is key to the creation of a safe school climate (Remboldt, 1994), school counselors may facilitate the school community's efforts to reach a consensual agreement. School counselors' training provides them with the tools to expedite ex·pe·dite
tr.v. ex·pe·dit·ed, ex·pe·dit·ing, ex·pe·dites
1. To speed up the progress of; accelerate.
2. such a process.
One way that schools can address the issue of school violence is through the development of character education programs and values statements (Peterson & Skiba, 2001). Character education is a way to provide "proactive guidance for students to learn the positive behaviors and values that should be part of the education of all people" (Peterson & Skiba, p. 3). Values statements are intended to pro vide a school-wide base of intended behavior. These statements tend to be a list of positive characteristics that all faculty and students can accept as desirable behavioral goals for students.
School counselors can provide the critical leadership in measuring school climate. Hoover and Oliver (1996) provide examples of surveys and checklists that assess the perceptions of school safety by students, members of their families, and other school staff as well. This type of assessment is an important step in order to design proactive programs to address school climate.
School counselors can also support the development of school rituals and traditions (Peterson & Deal, 1998) via coordination and implementation of these activities. Such activities can promote school bonding.
School counselors need to focus on the role of schools as socializing agents of rigid gender roles. Gender role workshops can improve awareness of the effect of gender role socialization role socialization Professionalism A process in which a person incorporates knowledge, skills, attitude and affective behavior associated with carrying out a particular role–eg, physician, nurse, technologist, etc. See Affective behaviors. (O'Neil & Carroll, 1988) on conflict in the school. In addressing bullying behavior, Clarke and Kiselica (1997) suggest in-service training for staff on gender-role socialization socialization /so·cial·iza·tion/ (so?shal-i-za´shun) the process by which society integrates the individual and the individual learns to behave in socially acceptable ways.
n. in order to raise awareness regarding the perpetration per·pe·trate
tr.v. per·pe·trat·ed, per·pe·trat·ing, per·pe·trates
To be responsible for; commit: perpetrate a crime; perpetrate a practical joke. of psychological maltreatment maltreatment Social medicine Any of a number of types of unreasonable interactions with another adult. See Child maltreatment, Cf Child abuse. . They argue that gender-role socialization may blind people to subtle forms of violence. However, Clarke and Kiselica caution that school counselors should only do this with the express support of the administration. Additionally, Clarke and Kiselica (2000) further suggest exploring sports programs and bullying within such programs. They make a link between male role socialization and bullying, and suggest a close investigation of such socialization in the school to address the reduction of school violence. Although these suggestions are made around gender and gender-role socialization, similar workshops can be applied to address other areas of difference in the school community (see, for example, Harper & Griffin, 2000; Lowey, 1998; Strong & Callahan, 2001).
School counselors may also contribute to a safe school through their work with students, parents, teachers, school and school district officials, and the community at large (Riley & McDonald, 2000). With students, group and individual counseling address personal, career, and social needs. Counseling and classroom guidance activities can also serve to effectively help identify behavioral problems and help counselors and teachers more effectively intervene to create a safe school environment. Counselors may also coordinate mentoring programs, facilitate programs that can train students to deal with their peers and anger, and conduct regular discussion groups to address the school district's code of behavior Noun 1. code of behavior - a set of conventional principles and expectations that are considered binding on any person who is a member of a particular group
code of conduct and disciplinary policies. School counselors can teach both students and staff empathy skills and foster the modeling of trust and respect by school personnel as an effective way to address potentially violent behaviors in students (Nims, 2000). In addition, programs such as peer mediation could be used more in an effort for schools to consistently follow school policies and principles and ultimately reduce school violence (Harper & Griffin, 2000). With parents, school counselors can provide resources and training on working with strong willed and behavior problem children and serve as an important referral source.
Riley and McDonald (2000) also propose that school counselors engage with teachers and school district officials, by assisting teachers and staff" with training regarding student behavior and discipline, and in coordinating school-wide programs promoting zero tolerance The policy of applying laws or penalties to even minor infringements of a code in order to reinforce its overall importance and enhance deterrence.
Since the 1980s the phrase zero tolerance has signified a philosophy toward illegal conduct that favors strict imposition of for violence in the school community. Baker (2000) even suggests the development of a power base for counseling programs and for coping with the stresses associated with promoting school reforms within school environments. School counselors may also work with other student services staff to provide effective assessment and referral resources for students exhibiting troublesome behaviors, assist with program evaluation Program evaluation is a formalized approach to studying and assessing projects, policies and program and determining if they 'work'. Program evaluation is used in government and the private sector and it's taught in numerous universities. , and serve on district and school-wide crisis response teams. In addition, school counselors may work with local children and youth advocate groups, especially those that address child abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence issues.
Clearly, school counselors can serve as an epicenter ep·i·cen·ter
1. The point of the earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthquake.
2. A focal point: stood at the epicenter of the international crisis. of catalytic cat·a·lyt·ic
Of, involving, or acting as a catalyst: "Deregulation's catalytic power . . . is still reshaping the banking, communications, and transportation industries" Ellyn E. change not only" with individual students, but also within entire school and community systems. While changing a school climate is everyone's responsibility, school counselors can play a leadership role in this effort because of their specialized knowledge and training. As catalysts for a safe school, school counselors can oversee and coordinate the school community's efforts at programming, provide leadership in the assessment of such efforts, and play a key role in communicating with students, teachers, staff, administration, parents, and the community at large. While being an advocate for a safe school climate may appear overwhelming, serving as a catalyst in a school will help to foster programs and policies that create a climate that reflects a community that cares about all youth. Ultimately, the school counselor's leadership role in the creation of a safe school climate will result in the academic and personal success of all students and help schools achieve their educational missions.
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1. A chronological record of the events of successive years.
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EDCO Economic Developers Council of Ontario (Cornwall, ON, Canada)
EDCO Exploration Drilling Corporation
EDCO Extended Duration Crew Operations , a division of WRS WRS Wisconsin Retirement System
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Thomas, J. Hernandez, Ed.D., is an assistant professor and
Susan R. Seem, Ph.D., is an associate professor and chairperson chairperson Chairman The head of an academic department. See 'Chair.', Cf Chief. in the Department of Counselor Education. Both are with the State University of New York (body) State University of New York - (SUNY) The public university system of New York State, USA, with campuses throughout the state. College at Brockport. E-mail: email@example.com