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Violence Prevention Training Requirements

(NOTE: The expectations for safe and orderly schools in Missouri are outlined in Fourth Cycle MSIP Standards 6.6 and 8.11.  The requirement for violence prevention training for students and staff has been added to the safety standards this cycle.  The following information is for districts to use as they evaluate their violence prevention programs.  It was prepared by the Missouri Center for Safe Schools.)

Missouri schools are required to have a violence prevention program.  Missouri statutes require that Missouri School Improvement Program accreditation reviews confirm that the school district is doing violence prevention staff development consistent with federal and state guidelines (160.660 RSMo).  The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education directed the development of this framework as the state guideline for school violence prevention programming in compliance with RSMo 161.650.3.

You can quickly determine if you are compliant with the guidelines contained in this framework by answering the following questions:

  1. Do students feel safe, welcome and supported at school?
  2. Has the school community assessed the effectiveness of the primary violence prevention program being implemented by the school district, utilizing the five components of the Missouri Violence Prevention Curriculum Framework?
    1. Character education, is based on locally identified traits
    2. A system for developing self-discipline, as a component of the character education program, includes consistent implementation of a student code of conduct with clear expectations and boundaries
    3. Instruction of strategies for managing anger, including recognition of the stages of anger, techniques for de-escalating angry situations, and crisis planning for dealing with individuals who cannot control their angry behavior
    4. Conflict resolution, including peer mediation
    5. Problem solving instruction as the integrating piece between character education, discipline education, anger management, and conflict resolution
  3. Do the teachers at every grade level know what is expected of them with regard to implementing the primary violence prevention program?  Do they know what outcomes should be reinforced from earlier instruction?  Do they intentionally model the character traits (including self-discipline) and social skills (anger management, conflict resolution, and problem solving) that are being instructed?
  4. Is staff development accomplished to support all components of the framework being implemented by the school district? 
  5. Are there any holes or disconnects evident when you chart the violence prevention programming and staff development for MSIP standard 8.11 (was 8.10 through MSIP Third Cycle)?  (See the example MSIP 8.11 report in Appendix 1 to the Framework, page 23.)
  6. Do student peer helping programs empower students and take advantage of positive peer influence in all components of the violence prevention program?
  7. Is there a secondary prevention effort for those most at risk (i.e. anger support groups, mentoring, etc.)?
  8. Is there a tertiary intervention/prevention effort for those who have become violent (i.e. recovery room, management school, etc.)?

If your answer to any of these questions is “no” or you are uncertain of the response, it is recommended that you read through the Violence Prevention Curriculum Framework then work with a representative committee from your school community to adapt the concepts of this framework and develop a violence prevention program that meets the needs of your youth.  If you have difficulty finding resources for any component of the framework, contact the Missouri Center for Safe Schools at (816) 235-5656, thompsonrs@umkc.edu, or http://www.umkc.edu/safe-school for help.