School Violence Remains a Concern
Prevention Tips for Parents and Guardians
Sacramento, CA - As more than six million K-12 students return to school this month, the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) reminds parents and guardians the important role they play in their child’s safety.
Fortunately, schools are taking great measures to improve campus safety and a variety of practices are being implemented to prevent and reduce violence. CalVCP Executive Officer Julie Nauman emphasizes the necessary role parents have in combatting school violence, “It is critical for parents and guardians to connect with their child’s school and familiarize themselves with the prevention efforts already in place. Volunteering for an anti-bullying, coaching or mentoring program is a great way to help combat and even prevent violence on campuses.”
As your children and teens adjust to the new school year, review the following tips to prevent one of the most common roots of school violence, bullying.
- Know the signs - Unexplained bruises or cuts, fear of returning to school, a drop in grades, or depression can all be signs of bullying. Behavioral issues like getting in trouble at school or obsession with popularity may be signs that your child is a bully.
- Open Communication - Often, kids will not want to share if they are having problems at school, but by simply asking your child how their day was or what they like most about their friends may give you some insight into their lives. If you do suspect a problem, explain to them that there’s no shame in being bullied and that it’s not their fault. Openly talking about it is the first step to fixing the problem.
- Learn conflict management - The key word is management; not all conflict in life is resolvable, but most times it is manageable. Teaching your children to know the difference and how to handle different types of conflict is an essential skill they can use for life.
- Adopt healthy hobbies - Encouraging your child to get involved in healthy hobbies in and out of school can be a great outlet for them to socialize, build new skill sets and healthy relationships with peers. Having a hobby that assists your child in making friends and building confidence will be a positive influence that will assist them in dealing with any potential bullying.
- Pay attention to friends - Paying close attention to the company your child keeps can be a great indicator of the type of influences your child is exposed to. If you believe certain friends are a bad influence, it’s important that you address this promptly and redirect their attention to spending time with more appropriate companions.
“CalVCP has seen a slight increase in escalated bullying cases over the years. Bullied, assaulted, sexually abused and hate crime victims seek help from our program for financial assistance to cover medical treatment or mental health counseling,” said Nauman. “Keeping our children safe is a responsibility for all, but when violence strikes at our schools, there is help through CalVCP.”
For more information about CalVCP visit the: CalVCP Website
The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) provides compensation for victims of violent crime who are injured or threatened with injury. Among the crimes covered are domestic violence, child abuse, sexual and physical assault, homicide, robbery, drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.
If a person meets eligibility criteria, CalVCP will compensate many types of services when the costs are not covered by other sources. Eligible services include medical and dental care, mental health services, income loss, funeral expenses, rehabilitation and relocation. Funding for CalVCP comes from restitution fines and orders, penalty assessments levied on persons convicted of crimes and traffic offenses, and matching federal funds.