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Leadership Strategies for Safe Schools

Leadership Strategies for Safe Schools

Second Edition
Edited by:

June 2009 | 192 pages | Corwin
Students learn best when they are in a safe and supportive environment. Elizabeth A. Barton guides principals, administrators, and teachers through the process of creating a proactive, student-centered school safety program. Updated to reflect current research, especially related to marginalized students, the second edition of Leadership Strategies for Safe Schools offers new case studies, vignettes, and strategies from needs assessment to program evaluation, and provides detailed information about how to implement programs for:

Character education and development

Conflict resolution

Peer mediation

Diversity education

Empower your students through educational experiences that help them gain respect for cultural differences, practice enhanced problem-solving skills, and build healthier social relationships in and out of the classroom.

The Problem of School Safety

The Need for a Proactive Approach to School Safety

Strategies for Creating Safe Schools

Organization of the Book

What’s New in the Second Edition

1. Creating a Safe School
Defining a Safe School

Persistently Dangerous School Indicators

Indicators of a Safe School

Factors Associated With School Violence

Characteristics of Youth Offenders

2. Setting the Foundation
The School Safety Team

Composition of the School Safety Team

The Role of Assessment in School Safety

Developing the School Safety Assessment Tool

Content of the School Safety Assessment Tool

Assessment Areas

Area 1 – Cultural and Personal Characteristics

Area 2 – Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes

Area 3 – Social Environment

Area 4 – Political Environment

Physical Environment

Techniques for Measuring School Needs

The Argument for Focus Groups

School Safety Plan

Environmental Safety

Student Education

School Policies and Procedures

School-Community Partnerships

Developing School Safety Plan Strategies


Statement of Need

Goals and Objectives

Timeline for Implementation of the School Safety Plan

Procedures for Plan Review

Implementing the School Safety Plan

Evaluating Safety Plan Effectiveness

3. Positioning Character Development in School Curricula
Effects of Character on Safe Schools

Character Education

History of Character Education

The Character Education Controversy

Current Trends in Character Education

Moral Content vs. Moral Thought Processes

Cognitive Development and Character Education

Connecting Character Education to Conflict Resolution Education

Strategies for Implementing Character Education



Offering Opportunities for Student Action

Potential Pitfalls in Character Education

Successful Character Education Programs

4. Implementing Conflict Resolution Education
The Fourth R: Resolution

Goals of Conflict Resolution Education

Building Students’ Self-Awareness


Anger Management

Perspective Taking and Empathy

Empathy and Perspective Taking

Enhancing Students’ Interpersonal Interactions

Communication Skills

Active Listening Techniques




Encouragement and Validation


I Messages


Constructive Conflict Resolution Strategies

The Nature of Conflict: Theoretical Background

Approaches to Conflict Resolution Education

Process Approach

Curriculum Infusion Approach

Language Arts

History and Geography


Music and Art

Professional Development Requirements of Conflict Resolution Education

Involving Family Members in Conflict Resolution Education

Models of Effective Conflict Resolution Education Programs

5. Peer Mediation Programming
Students Helping to Create Safe Schools

Goals and Process of Mediation

Theoretical Foundation of Peer Mediation

School Staff Involvement in Peer Mediation Programs

Implementing Peer Mediation Programs

Selecting Students for Peer Mediation Training

Selecting Mediation Program Coordinators

Training Peer Mediators

Conducting the Peer Mediation Program

Mediation Referrals and Requests

Mediation Location and Time

Potential Problems and Solutions Encountered in Peer Mediation Programming

Creating Family and Community Partnerships

Application of the Mediation Model

Models of Effective Peer Mediation Programming

6. Integrating Diversity Into Conflict Resolution Programs
Safe Schools Appreciate Differences

Goals of Diversity Education

Connections Between Diversity and Conflict Resolution Education Programs

Effect of Culture on Communication Skills

Communication Skills and Diversity Education

Conflict Resolution Strategy Selection

Strategies for Diversity Education

Cooperative Learning Groups

Direct Anti-bias Education

Circle Game Activity

Verbal and Nonverbal Cues Activity

School as a Culture Exercise

Mythdrama Technique

Cultural Connections

Discussing Differences

Guidelines for Implementing Diversity Education

Positive Techniques

Potential Pitfalls to Avoid

Models of Effective Diversity Education Programs

7. Evaluating School Safety Programs
Evaluation: A Necessary Component of School Safety

The Role of the Evaluator

What Should the Evaluation Measure?

Evaluating Student Education Programs

Evaluating Policies and Procedures

Evaluating School-Community Partnerships

Evaluating the Environment

Mechanisms for Evaluating School Safety Programs

Process Evaluation vs. Outcome and Impact Evaluation

A: Sample School Safety Handbook Table of Contents and General Emergency Management Plan

B: Sample School Safety Information Policy Agreement

C: Resources


“The book emphasizes a proactive, preventive approach to building safe schools through education programs. The interweaving of character education, conflict resolution, peer mediation, and diversity training is powerful.”

Kathy Bohan, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology
Northern Arizona University

“A solid resource for educators, with proven methods for creating safe schools. Includes a number of useful supplemental materials, from forms to guidelines and plans.”

Jeffrey Daniels, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology
West Virginia University

The second edition of Leadership Strategies for Safe Schools contains a number of modifications that will better assist school leaders with assessing, developing, implementing, and evaluating proactive strategies for safe schools. Case studies, scenarios, and classroom activities have been added throughout the book to provide real-life examples of the concepts and strategies presented. Research has been updated throughout, with a particular emphasis on marginalized populations, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/transsexual (LGBT) adolescents.

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: Creating a Safe School

For instructors

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