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When children enter formal education, the provision of safe school environments is critical in protecting them from youth violence, and enabling them to learn and develop effectively. This evidence suggests that when schools are successful in crafting a climate of civility, one that reinforces the expectation that students and adults will maintain civil interactions, that climate helps to control students’ aggressive behaviour. The strategies for maintaining peaceful interactions must be positive; a punitive zero tolerance policy may remove the most troubled and troubling students without improving the overall school climate.

The overall goal for schools must be the two-sided process of reducing aggressive behaviour and promoting a peaceful, positive climate. The two should not be viewed as separate goals; achieving widespread improvement in behaviour at school is highly unlikely without a peaceful school climate.

Further, during youth, relationships with peers can take precedence over the influence of parents and other authority figures, and young people can be exposed for the first time to situations where violence may occur, such as psychological harassment, sexual interactions, drinking environments, illicit drug markets etc.

How young people cope with these challenges depends on the strength of their social and emotional skills, the family and social support they have around them and the cultural and social norms they have learned during childhood. Data are only readily available for violence resulting in death.

• Teachers
• Professionals working with youngsters
with deviant behaviour
• School psychologists
• School counsellors
• Students (7-18 years old)
• Their parents
• Educational authorities
• Wider society

Start Date: 03-12-2018
Project Duration: 24 months

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