For Safer Schools is a joint project developed by Patricia Evans and Rick Lewis, Training Coordinator, Safe Schools Center, Palm Beach County School District, Florida. The student training is adapted from The Verbally Abusive Relationship (1996) by Patricia Evans. Published by Adams Media Corporation.

Student Training
The training FOR SAFER SCHOOLS can be tailored to meet your time and space constraints. A two hour training is standard.

Students learn:

* the meaning of verbal abuse
* why verbal abuse is silly talk
* why people indulge in verbal abuse
* how to deal with verbal abuse
* how to avoid escalating aggression
* how to assess potential escalation

It would appear that the frequency of verbal abuse in our society is on the rise. While blame has been placed on everything from music videos and movies to insensitive parenting, all of us in school have had to cope with the "fallout” that results in our hallways when students routinely accept verbal abuse as a way of life. Since verbal abuse frequently precedes physical fighting, we believe that sensitizing students to this problem will not only make our hallways and classrooms more pleasant, but will also improve our discipline statistics.

Most teachers and students have witnessed instances of verbal abuse in hallways and classrooms. Perhaps some witnesses have even been forced into situations that have ended in verbal abuse. Since verbal abuse has an entirely different set of underlying dynamics from regular conflict resolution processes, this workshop is meant to educate students about those differences so that they may recognize, and eventually eliminate, verbal abuse from their lives.

It is possible that many people of all ages perpetuate or tolerate a pattern of abusive behaviors simply because they do not realize that verbal abuse has different underlying dynamics than healthy processes of conflict resolution and problem solving. While strong emotions often surface during healthy conflict resolution, the underlying intent of both parties in non-abusive situations is to solve the problem while maintaining the dignity of both parties. On the other hand, in verbally-abusive situations, the intent of one party may be to solve the problem, while the intent of the other is to dominate and control. We believe that educating students on the underlying dynamics of verbal abuse will be a first step in reducing its frequency, first on our campuses, then, hopefully, in our community's homes.

Your school or school district can arrange a student training with Patricia Evans by contacting us directly. We are flexible about adapting a training to meet your particular needs.

Evans Interpersonal Communications Institute
PO. Box 589 • Alamo, CA 94595
Phone 925 934 5972 • Fax 925 933 9636