Violence – physical and psychological - against and among children happens every day in schools. It happens among children themselves. Some teachers and parents also resort to using violent methods – more often verbal, but sometimes physical – to discipline children and to teach them right from wrong.
The effects of violence are often the same as the causes of violence. In some cases children who experience violence accept this as normal and mirror the same behaviour. Children who are constantly picked on, teased, bullied, ridiculed, and humiliated at home or at school, often feel rejected, persecuted, unworthy or lack confidence. If not given adequate support in addressing these feelings, they may vent them in inappropriate ways - including aggression and even serve forms of violence.
The consequences of the vicious cycle of violence against children can be long term and include:
Moreover, violence carries with it very serious economic costs for society, reducing human capacity and compromising social development. Children are less likely to have long-term problems as a result of violence if they have a parent or other family member who makes them feel safe and loved, and if they have friends who can offer support and do not tempt them into doing criminal or dangerous things like taking drugs.
Violence in schools is a problem in every country. What is important is that we do not wait for it to happen to respond to it. To break the cycle of violence everybody - school staff, teachers, students, parents, and members of the community – need to be involved.
When we talk about creating Schools Free of Violence, the Behaviour for Learning approach, currently being rolled out with UNICEF support, doesn't focus on violence itself. It focuses on promoting the opposite to violence – the Spanish term convivencia, or "living together in harmony". Throughout this website we refer to it as creating safe schools through promoting a positive school climate.
A lasting change calls for ALL to make a change.
A change will not happen overnight, however if the issues are not addressed systematically violence in schools will continue to have a corrosive effect on child wellbeing, the educational achievement of students and will deny children their right to learn in а safe and protective environment."
We hope this website will help you make the change.
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.