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Children Exposed to Violence: Tips for Teachers

NCJ Number
Date Published
3 pages
This paper first notes the adverse effects on children of being exposed to violence, followed by listings of warning signs of such exposure for various age groups, along with recommendations for how teachers, who play a critical role in children's lives, can assist in preventing or mitigating the adverse effects of exposure to violence.
Although each child exposed to violence will experience distinctive features of violence and react in individualized ways, there are a number of behaviors and emotional states that have been documented as associated with exposure to violence. This paper lists warning signs that tend to be associated with the following age groups: children 5 years old and younger, children 6-12 years old, and teens 13-18 years old. Four recommendations are presented to assist teachers in responding to students who manifest any of these warning signs. First, learn about the age-related warning signs that a student may have been exposed to violence. Second, respond to such students appropriately, i.e., by listening to the student's concerns and suggesting referral to the school social worker or psychologist. Third, support the healing process by tailoring the learning process to individual capabilities and compassionate responses to student learning difficulties. Fourth, teachers must recognize the limitations of their training and the classroom setting in assisting students exposed to violence and be prepared to refer such students to appropriate professionals within or outside the school system. 5 resource listings

Date Published: January 1, 2011