Children In Crisis: Recognizing the Signs


The child in crisis. As educators, we see it every day. Yet what response, if any, do we have about it?

In her book, Violence Proof Your Kids Now, Erika V. Shearin Karres, Ed.D, unlocks the signs of violence that parents and educators should look for when dealing with kids. Eight signs are provided that clearly indicate when a child is on the brink of violence. How many of them do you recognize? How many faces in your school wear these signs? And when was the last time you reached out to one of these kids?

Sign 1: Lack of Human Attention

Sign 2: Emotional Unhealth

Sign 3: Access to Weapons

Sign 4: Alienation at School

Sign 5: Negative Friendships

Sign 6: Destructive Downtime

Sign 7: Evil Worship

Sign 8: Future Limbo

The kids that wear these signs are often the kids that we turn away from. But unfortunately, these are the ones who need us most. These are the kids who, when left unattended to, will do the most harm. When we turn our backs to these kids, we are turning our backs on the lives of the children we label as "good", for these may well be the children they harm.

What steps can you take in your school to locate violence prone children?

1. Listen - children talk, but you have to listen.

2. Ask questions - dig until you get to the source of a problem.

3. Document - write everything down a child says regarding suspicious behaviors.

4. Investigate - interview victims, witnesses, and check all leads and resources.

5. Get help - turn your findings over to authorities, whether it be administrators, your school resource officer, or a counselor.

6. Follow up - be sure that action is taken on behalf of a child in crisis.

Never walk away from one of these kids. While you may not be interested in saving that child's life, you may be saving another's.


Copyright 2001 All rights reserved.