Are other kids key to stopping school violence?

Posted at 5:11 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 17:56:17-04

ALEXANDRIA, Ky. -- If the majority of students witness some kind of negative behavior at school -- like bullying, drugs or violence -- Campbell County Schools wants to make sure they know what to do.

A $4.9 million grant from the National Institute of Justice will fund a four-year school violence research study involving nearly 200 teachers and 1,000 students in third, sixth and ninth grades -- and it could end up helping many more than that.

The project, which also involves a team from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, aims to reduce the "bystander effect" when kids see bullying and other school violence -- by teaching them what's behind it, and how to resolve or possibly even prevent it.

"The goal of this is to identify how to best train kids to recognize instances and to disclose those instances to people who have also been trained to do something about it," Superintendent David Rust said.

Ultimately, researchers say they hope to find out if students are the key factor in preventing school violence among their peers.

"It'll have the double benefit of helping us provide additional programming to our students and staff here at Campbell County, while also conducting research over the course of the next four years that will hopefully add to the overall literature of what keeps kids safe at schools," Rust said.

The team will start implementing the program in January. The results will be compared to other districts that haven't had the program.