Reducing Violence In U.S. Schools - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 53, No. 4
Tia Schneider Denenberg
Richard V. Denenberg
Tia Schneider Denenberg is a mediator/arbitrator, Richard V. Denenberg is an author, and Mark Braverman, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist. They are principals of Workplace Solutions, a nonprofit violenceprevention project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. A book based on the project’s work will be published next year by Cornell University Press.
In recent years, there has been an eruption of violent crimes committed in schools throughout the country. The best way to minimize such crimes, according to the authors, is to adopt the prevention and intervention strategies that are used in the workplace. These strategies should be employed as early as possible to “[teach] the child alternative, socially appropriate replacement responses...” A variety of mediation programs, outlined in this article, are breaking new ground.
In Springfield, Oregon, in May, a 15-year-old armed with a semiautomatic rifle begins firing in a crowded high school cafeteria, leaving two students dead and 22 others wounded.1 In Arkansas, the police charges that a 13- year-old joined with an 11-year-old friend to kill five persons at the Westfield Middle School in Jonesboro in March. In Kentucky, Michael Carneal pleads guilty to killing three classmates and wounding five others at a prayer meeting in Heath High School in West Paducah late last year. At the time of the murders he was 14.