It’s inevitable that from time to time, arguments between learners will escalate into fights. However, if teachers know some basic techniques for breaking up fights and dealing with aggressive learners, things need not get ugly. We have prepared a list of 10 Tips to Stop School Fights to help you handle these situations better.
Prevention is better than cure
The first step is avoiding fights breaking out on the first place. Encourage all your learners (even the ‘troublemakers’) to strive for excellence and greatness, both inside and outside the classroom.
Don’t give them time to fights – by keeping your learners engaged and challenging them daily to stay involved in lessons, they are less likely to look for ways to make their lives more ‘interesting’.
What to do if you see an act of aggression – 10 Tips to Stop School Fights:
- Don’t ignore it – even a small act of aggression or violence can quickly escalate into something more serious.
- Walk towards the scene. Sometimes, simply your presence will be enough warning to avoid the situation becoming worse.
- Determine who is there, what has happened and what is likely to happen.
- If there are large groups of learners, have another pupil go fetch more adults, but don’t leave the scene yourself.
- Be sure to check if there are any possible weapons.
- Once you have made a quick assessment, use a strong and firm voice to tell learners to stop what they are doing, ideally using their names. Tell onlookers to leave the area.
- Make sure to give consequences for not following your directions – to both the onlookers and those involved in the aggression.
- Document in writing what happened as soon as the incident has been dealt with.
- Get victims any help they need as soon as possible.
- Keep calm when addressing the aggressive party and speak to the school counsellor about an appointment for the child.
- Use onlookers’ names if you know them and tell each student where to go specifically, for example: “Trevor, go back to your homework room.” This is more effective than giving a general instruction to all onlookers at once.
- Make a mental note of these names so that you can call them to report back on what took place before you arrived.
Never get between fighting learners.