Update: Lockdown on School Violence Youth Forum

youth forumIf you missed our youth forum last week, on the topic of School Violence/Safety, you missed a great night of young people thinking and working together to make their schools safer! We had at least over 100 people in attendance, three media outlets, along with several elected officials, including three members from the school board and one school board candidate.

Youth participants heard from a panel of speakers, which included Kevis McGee (student at Fresno City College), Paige Mason (student at Edison High School), Mr. Chris Finley (teacher at Edison High School) and Carol Mills (Fresno Unified School District Individual Trustee). Speakers talked about the issue of school safety from their perspectives as students and educators.

Over 50 youth participants engaged in a live polling session using remote control clickers and answered various questions related to school safety. Among the results from the polling session, here are some interesting things we learned:

76% of the youth polled that evening felt that rumors and gossip causes fights, while only 15% felt that it was due to gangs, although many agreed that the two can be inter-related.

74% felt that bullying causes school violence, and 62% said they somewhat see bullying in their schools.

73% of youth polled agreed that school fights happen during lunch.

34% of the students we polled said they have been victims of school violence.

And 41% agreed that talking to other students and their peers would help them grieve if someone at their school were to die from a school violence incidence.

When we asked the question about what school officials can do to decrease the amount of school fights, 32%, the highest number, agreed that a solution is to keep kids busy doing other fun stuff, such as clubs, activities, and field trips.

Lastly, 86% of youth said they have witnessed a verbal fight between a student and teacher, and 40% said they have witnessed a physical fight between a student and teacher.

For more information, please click here to obtain a PDF copy of the report and recommendations from this forum.

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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