Responding to School Violence / 

Dealing with Incidents at Schools

School staffs and school districts work to prevent school violence and schools are very safe places. Students, staff, parents, and community agencies all have an important role in promoting school safety by following procedures and reporting concerns. It is also important to balance sufficient building security with a healthy, nurturing, school environment. The goal is to reassure students that although there is a possibility of violence occurring in a school, the probability of a school experiencing a high-profile violent act is extremely low. 

Schools are safe places. School staffs works with local police, emergency responders, hospitals and community resources to keep everyone safe.

We all play a role in school safety. Students and educators are encouraged to let adults know if they see or hear something that makes them feel uncomfortable, nervous, or frightened.

There is a difference between reporting and tattling, or gossiping. Students, parents, educators and all stakeholders can provide important information, either directly or anonymously, that may prevent harm by telling a trusted adult what they know or hear

Although there is no absolute guarantee that something bad will never happen, it is important to understand the difference between the possibility of something happening and probability that it will affect our schools.

Violence is hard for everyone to understand. After an incident, students should do things they enjoy, stick to a routine, and be with friends and family to help them feel better and keep from worrying about an event.

Students should tell an adult if they know someone has a weapon or if they hear anyone talking about violent acts.

Students can be part of a positive solution to school violence by working together.

Students are encouraged to seek help from an adult if they or a peer is struggling with anger, depression, or other emotions they cannot control. School Psychologists and School Counsellors are available in schools to help provide support.

If an event does occur in a school/school community:

School Staffs, School Districts, Fire Services and Police Services do what is required to keep our students safe and will continue to make school safe places.

Talking (and listening) to children and youth after a crisis is key.  The first link below outlines some communication tips and guidelines as recommended by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).   Other links for prevention and intervention are also provided.

Miscellaneous Links and Resources:

Below are links to other resources within the Psychologists In Education (PIE) Website

NASP has additional information for parents and educators on school safety, violence prevention, children’s trauma reactions, and crisis response at 

Learn and apply the five Best Practices for Violence Prevention and Trauma Intervention, including what they are, why they are important, and examples for how to use each strategy. Everybody plays a role. What can you do?

Source: Psychiatry College of Medicine