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Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework - October 1999

Violence Prevention

Violence Prevention addresses actions that bring harm to a person's body, feelings, or possessions. Violence Prevention acknowledges that violence can affect everyone and that the interaction among a complex set of factors internal and external to individuals influences violence-related attitudes and behaviors. The foundation of Violence Prevention involves skills for teaching students methods to prevent and avoid violence while recognizing the contribution that individuals can make to violence prevention through having good character, acknowledging the rights of others, and living peacefully.

As violence has often been recognized as a major problem that affects not only the health of students in schools, but inhibits schools from accomplishing their primary mission of education, schools have both an obligation and an opportunity to become involved in violence prevention. Students explore personal attitudes and attributes and learn skills for violence prevention. Learning alternatives to violence, such as how to manage anger and resolve conflicts without violence, should be taught at early ages to counteract violence as an accepted way of life. Topics generally covered in Violence Prevention include: Awareness, Contributing Factors, and Alternatives. Self protection is addressed in Violence Prevention and in Safety and Injury Prevention as well.

PreK-12 Standard 11: Violence Prevention

Students will learn how their actions affect others, will understand the power that positive character traits can have in violence prevention, will gain skills to report incidents of violence and hurtful behavior to adults in the school and community, will avoid engaging in violence, and will identify constructive alternatives to violence, including how to discourage others from engaging in violence.

Learning Standards: Violence Prevention

PreK-5 Awareness
11.1 Describe some of the ways that young children can be intentionally helpful and intentionally hurtful to one another.
Contributing Factors
11.2 Identify factors (such as internal character and personality attributes and forces external to individuals, such as the media or society) related to both violent and nonviolent attitudes.
Alternatives
11.3 Differentiate between one's personal rights and those of others and use communication and problem-solving to set personal boundaries, resolve conflicts, and develop positive relationships.
11.4 Identify helping resources regarding violence in the school and community, such as counselors, neighbors, law enforcement, and members of faith-based groups.
6-8 Awareness
11.5 Identify reasons why some people choose to join gangs and understand how gangs undermine community and lead to violence.
11.6 Identify the social and emotional consequences of harassment (for example, gender, racial, handicap, sexual in nature, etc.).
Contributing Factors
11.7 Define intolerance and explain how it can contribute to violence.
Alternatives
11.8 Describe the power of the individual in reducing violence and identify situations where individuals can become active about violence prevention.
11.9 Demonstrate effective communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution for resolving potentially violent conflicts.
11.10 Explain the signs of abuse in relationships, including emotional abuse and physical assault, and identify the available resources in schools and the local community, such as counselors, law enforcement, and faith-based groups.
9-12 Awareness
11.11 Identify shared community and societal beliefs that underlie violence.
11.12 Describe the relationship between negative stress and violence.
11.13 Identify the mental health and legal consequences of harassment (for example, gender, racial, handicap, sexual in nature, etc.).
Contributing Factors
11.14 Describe the relationships among attitudes, behaviors, and vulnerability to violence.
11.15 Explain why some people admire others who gain social status through violence and how this can contribute to further violence.
11.16 Identify those character traits that are connected with peaceful living in society, such as respectfulness, tolerance, honesty, self-discipline, kindness, and empathy.
Alternatives
11.17 Describe the responsibility of the family in teaching children non-violent attitudes and conduct.
11.18 Demonstrate skills for refusal, negotiation, and collaboration to avoid potentially harmful situations in personal, work, and community relationships.
11.19 Identify the health consequences of domestic violence, child abuse, rape, and other forms of violence and discuss strategies to deal with as well as prevent them.

Selected Examples: Violence Prevention

11.3 Using scenarios involving conflict and violence, students discuss the best strategy for resolving a particular situation (such as avoiding strangers, walking or running away, telling someone to stop, asking for help from trusted adults, encouraging others to walk away).

11.9 Students view a video about other students' experiences with violence, particularly teasing, bullying, and fighting, and have a class discussion on solutions to such situations.

11.10 Students create advertisements to encourage other students to use resources for relationship abuse.

11.11 Students research the relationship between the presence of guns in the home and violent acts.

11.13 Students research the academic writings on the possible unintended negative effects of sexual harassment laws, regulations, and policies on normal female and male relationships.

11.15 Invite a specialist in gangs to discuss how young people may feel violence benefits them socially and how to avoid/leave gangs.

11.16 Students report on a historical figure, figure from literature, popular figure, or an individual personally known to them who has the character traits of being respectful, affirming, and empathetic and the situation(s) in which these traits were exhibited,

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Last Updated: October 1, 1999
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