|WHO Information Series on School Health - Document 3 - Violence Prevention: An Important Element of a Health-promoting School (UNESCO - WHO, 1999, 61 p.)|
|Why did WHO prepare this document?|
|Who should read this document?|
|What is meant by ''violence''?|
|What are the causes of violence?|
|Why focus efforts through schools?|
|How should this document be used?|
|2. CONVINCING OTHERS THAT VIOLENCE PREVENTION THROUGH SCHOOLS IS IMPORTANT|
|Rationale: Violence affects the well-being and learning potential of millions of children around the world|
|Rationale: Violence is a social and economic problem for all nations|
|Rationale: Violence is learned and therefore capable of being unlearned|
|Rationale: Schools offer an efficient, practical and timely means to prevent and reduce violence|
|Rationale: Evaluations of school-based violence prevention efforts show promising results|
|3. PLANNING THE INTERVENTIONS|
|Who is going to make this happen?|
|The School Health Team|
|Where should we start?|
|Community and family commitment|
|Teachers and school staff|
|What should we do?|
|How will we know how well we are doing?|
|Evaluation design and monitoring|
|4. INTEGRATING VIOLENCE PREVENTION INTO A HEALTH-PROMOTING SCHOOL|
|School health education|
|Building the capacity of administrators, teachers and other school staff|
|Where can you look for good training?|
|School health services|
|Training for health service providers|
|A healthy school environment|
|Overall school climate|
|Supportive school policies and practices|
|Health promotion for school staff|
|Safety and security|
|Youth development activities|
|School/community projects and outreach|
|Coordinating mutually reinforcing components|
|Types of evaluation|
|6. ENSURING CONTINUITY IN THE SCHOOL & COMMUNITY|
|ANNEX 1: Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy|
|ANNEX 2: Examples of educational interventions for violence prevention|
|ANNEX 3: Examples of Grade-Specific Objectives for Violence Prevention Skills|
|ANNEX 4: Resources to help you in your health promotion and violence prevention efforts|
|ANNEX 5: Recommended UNESCO documents and publications for the promotion of peace and prevention of violence through schools.|
Violence prevention efforts that address factors at all levels will be the most successful. Schools certainly cannot control many factors that contribute to violence military spending, arms sales, corrupt members of governments and police forces. However, the education sector can assist the network of institutions working to identify and stop the cycle of violence. Schools can address a broad range of behaviours, skills, communication patterns, attitudes and school policies and conditions that support and perpetuate violence. For example, educational programmes can challenge the cultural norms that support violent behaviour against women or ethnic/religious minorities, and teach alternative attitudes and skills which enhance the "non-violent solution of conflicts, respect for human rights, democracy, intercultural understanding, tolerance and solidarity."(8,9) They can also prevent violence from occurring on school grounds, thus providing a safe place in which students and staff can work and learn.
Specifically, this document suggests ways that schools can:
· Create public policy that promotes health. This document provides information and rationale that can be used to persuade others of the importance of violence prevention and to advocate for increased local, district and national support for violence prevention and health promotion through schools.
· Develop skills. This document identifies the skills that young people need to learn and practise in order to resolve conflict through peaceful, non-violent and socially constructive means, preferably before they face high-risk situations and before many drop out of school.
· Reorient health services. This document describes how schools can enhance access to screening, diagnostic, treatment and counselling services either within the school or through referrals to community services for those suffering physical or psychological trauma from violence.
· Develop supportive environments. This document describes simple, low-cost changes that schools can make to improve their physical and psychosocial environments and create an atmosphere that supports violence prevention.
· Mobilise community action. Recognising the interdependence of school and community, this document identifies ways the school can interact with community members, parents and local services to reinforce violence prevention initiatives, and to support and guide young people in all realms of their lives.
In implementing these suggestions, schools take essential steps toward becoming a Health-Promoting School.