Best Way to Deal with Violent Behaviour from Pupils

Much more serious than verbal insults are threats of physical violence against you. These are more common among older students, but even younger children may resort to threatening behaviour.

Empty threats are often said in anger, such as ‘If you come near me I’ll kill you!’: while they can come as a surprise, these are generally not considered to be a real worry. Once the student has calmed down, the threat has invariably been forgotten.

Violent Behaviour from Pupils Best Way to Deal with Violent Behaviour from Pupils

Other threats may be far more serious and may be part of some physical intimidation. Threats that outline some specific action such as Tm going to petrol bomb your car’ or Tm going to stab you after school’ should be taken very seriously and referred to senior manage­ment staff.

If you feel scared or worried by a student’s behaviour at any time, remove yourself from the situation and tell a colleague. Never put yourself in a situation where you may be alone with that student, and never threaten him or her back.

Remember: although these kinds of threats are made far too often, very few of them are ever actually carried out, despite what the media would have us believe!

Top tips for dealing with violent behaviour

  •  If you feel unsafe, get out of the situation immediately and call another member of staff to help you.
  •  Stay as calm as possible. Attempt to gain control of the situ­ation.
  •  Reassure the student that you understand his or her distress and wish to resolve the issue.
  •  Never get into a one-to-one situation in a closed room. Place yourself as close as possible to an available exit.
  •  Always stay in an open area, preferably with an object such as a table separating you both.
Violent Behaviour from Pupils 1 Best Way to Deal with Violent Behaviour from Pupils
  • Never grab, push or slap the student. You may defend yourself against a physical attack but you must only use acceptable force.
  •  If the student is shouting, ask them to lower their voice and calm down. Never shout back at the student.
  •  Be aware of your movements and body language. Do not make any sudden or potentially threatening motions, which may be misinterpreted.
  •  Write an incident report as soon as you can. Notify other teach­ers, parents, etc.

Leave a Reply