The Psychology of Terrorism: Programs and Practices in Response and Prevention - Vol. 4

By Chris E. Stout | Go to book overview

9

How Conflict Resolution Programming in Our Schools Addresses Terrorism Issues

Kathy Sexton-Radek

Many schools today offer conflict resolution programs that teach children and adolescents how to deal with problems including fear, anger, and violence—problems closely related to the experience of terrorism.

The focus on violence prevention among school-aged children addresses terrorism inasmuch as violence in their lives often involves a private terror. Surrounded by the familiar school setting, peers, and teachers, many students struggle inwardly with the irony of a terror that may be related to battery, intimidation, or abuse. The scope and physical/emotional gravity of this terror may be parallel to but distinguished in magnitude from a political terrorist attack. But violence, in both cases, is defined as a threat, attempt, or actual use of physical or emotional force or power against another person, or against a group or community, that results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, or depression.

Alexander and Curtis (1995) commented that intervention programs have long-term effects on the likelihood of participation in delinquency; but these are undermined by continued exposure to other risk factors, such as violent neighborhoods (O’Donnell, 1995). This chapter focuses on the experience of violence in the schools. Terrorism-like issues of fear, intimidation, and abuse that are experienced by adolescent students, and subsequent conflict resolution programming are presented and evaluated. Recommendations are made, including that the hazards engendered by student life must also be prevented by community protection.

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