This summer, we asked nearly 400 K-12 educators and school employees from across the United States to share their views on school violence - and how to combat it. Here’s what they had to say.

Download the full infographic


The Issue

School violence can be either physical, mental, or emotional, and it comes in varying degrees. No matter what, school violence harms the well-being of students and staff, as well as their overall sense of safety and security. The debate surrounding school violence has reached the national level, and it has highlighted the need for all stakeholders to take action, including students, teachers, parents, and administrators.

The majority of our survey respondents say their schools are taking steps to address school violence, and that they feel safe on a daily basis and prepared to respond to a crisis. These educators want more, however.

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The Challenge

We’ve been making strides when it comes to preventing school violence, but there’s more work to be done to address the root causes, such as mental health. The majority of our LifeChanger community feels that students’ mental health is changing for the negative. They see student mental health as an important issue that needs to be addressed as part of the proactive solution to preventing school violence.

We also noticed that educators believe they’re shouldering more responsibility for preventing school violence, whether it’s by spending personal funds on supplies to make classrooms safer, or addressing behavioral issues. Educators are investing a significant amount of time and energy on creating safer classrooms, time that could be spent on teaching students the curriculum.

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The Solution

So, what’s the solution? How can we create safe spaces where children can learn and educators can teach? We’re still searching for the answer, but in the meantime, our LifeChanger community wants to see more: More safety measures such as additional staff training and drills. More resources officers. More social-emotional learning. More discussion around mental health and cultural barriers.

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“The tangible part of school safety—locked outer doors, better sign-in processes, badges that show someone has been approved to be in the building—have been fixes that are needed. What is more challenging, though, is trying to help change the students’ attitudes towards themselves and each other,”
— Mary S., Kentucky high school teacher

Take Action

Every K-12 school should be a safe environment for learning and free from all acts of violence. To get there, we need your help. Check out the following resources to get started.

A list of simple activities that can keep you on track when it comes to creating safer schools.

Thirteen powerful activities from Edutopia that have been succeed in the classroom, from “identity-related bingo” to “name that emotion you bring to class”

A growing national movement of LifeChangers and other U.S. teacher-leaders who are sharing their voices and developing proactive solutions to keeping schools safe.

We’ve compiled the survey results in a handy infographic for you to share. Email the infographic to your colleagues, or post it on social media with the hashtags #LCOY or #NotInMySchool.

Tips for teachers and parents on ways they can address school safety with students.


National Life Group and LifeChanger of the Year are proud founding sponsors and active supporters of the National Coalition for Safe Schools, a teacher-led initiative that believes the best way to create safer and healthier schools and communities is to proactively address the root causes of violence and other negative behaviors. Learn more at NotinMySchool.com.