Violence, regardless of where it takes place, breaches children’s fundamental rights. It breaches their right to be protected from “all forms of physical, psychological, or mental violence” while in the care of parents and others. When it takes place in schools, it breaches their right to learn in a safe and protective environment. Furthermore, the consequences of violence are long-term and have an impact on children’s ability to learn.
If not addressed systematically, violence in schools will deny children their rights; and have a corrosive effect on child wellbeing and the educational achievement of students.
Safe schools are needed for students’ success and academic achievements. Positive behaviour improvement and violence reduction are essential foundations for a creative and effective learning and teaching environment in which all members of the school community can thrive and feel respected, safe and secure.
How to achieve this? We know from evidence from other European countries that responding to violence in schools with increased control and sanctions is unlikely to solve the problem in the long term. Installing video surveillance and introducing security guards are often a popular response, but evidence from other countries has shown that in most contexts, they are unlikely to be effective, and risk being counter-productive in efforts to create a positive environment for learning.
Reducing violence by creating a climate where the opposite of violence [peace, respect, tolerance, cohesion, harmony] thrives and where violence does not breed - where violence is not tolerated and is considered unacceptable by all - has proven to generate the best results
This requires creating a positive school climate where everybody - children, teachers, school staff and parents - feel safe, valued and respected. Here are some characteristics that the Ministry of Education in Ontario have associated with a positive school climate:
These are the underlying principles that are being used to guide the national action in this country.
Help us turn this website into a site that shows the world how we are coming together to create a country where all schools are free of violence.
National School Capacity Building
National Policy, Strategy and Guidance