Astor on Schools’ Role in Protecting Students, Preventing Violence

Social Welfare Professor Ron Avi Astor spoke to the Los Angeles Times about pandemic-related factors behind reports of tension, misbehavior and violence on school campuses. Students who returned to in-person learning after a long period of isolation may have also experienced food and housing insecurity, mental health issues and other stressors, Astor noted, so schools should be well-positioned to support students on many levels. “Historically, schools have also played the role of creating a better society and a better world,” he said. “This is the right time to retreat back to that.” A K-12 Dive article on who bears responsibility for preventing violence on campus also cited Astor. He recommended that everybody — including teachers, staff, administrators, peers, parents and law enforcement — be trained to spot and properly respond to students who display red flags, including an obsession with firearms; signs of depression and suicidal ideation; having a plan to hurt themselves or others; and troubling social media posts.


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