Over the last month, we have heard increasing incidents of violent student behavior. We know that the staffing shortages have hindered our capacity to react to these issues and provide support for these students in need. While we continue to advocate for better staff allocations and funding for CIs and other behavioral health professionals, our union is prioritizing training for educators to know the best tactics to de-escalate, verbally and physically, students when a violent situation is or may occur.
As a special educator, my training in Crisis Prevention and Intervention (CPI) has helped me on numerous occasions. I have had students throw desks and other objects, threaten me both verbally and with objects and more. Finding tools to help my students and myself has helped me stay in this profession. We want to do the same for other educators facing these same situations. It is important to add tools to our toolbox that increase our skills to keep ourselves and our students safe.
Things I have learned during CPI:
- Keeping your arms crossed shows a closed off attitude.
- There is a certain amount of space between individuals that most are comfortable with; and we need to have this body awareness when interacting with our students.
- Providing two choices may help de-escalate the situation.
- When supporting a student through an escalating situation, if you use verbal de-escalation strategies, you can help maintain a safe classroom.
If staff in your building are interested in CPI training or other opportunities to learn about keeping yourself, your peers, and other students safe, reach out to me at the TAAAC Office – (410) 224-3330!