As a society, we seek to educate our young adults to be kind, caring, and thoughtful leaders both in and outside of the classroom. When our sons and daughters graduate from high school and prepare for their next academic adventure, we as parents want to ensure they are living and learning in a safe environment. Do they have the knowledge, tools, and resources to reduce their vulnerability, be aware of any potential threats or behavior that makes them uncomfortable, and be psychologically prepared to respond to any threatening scenario in an effective manner? Prepare is an organization that provides educational programs and classes on communication skills and violence prevention for students, parents, administrators, and businesses.
- Violence prevention starts at early adolescence.
- Prepare operates in three lanes of violence prevention: Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary. Primary prevention is about changing systems, attitudes, and beliefs. For example, what is the difference between love and a crush? Where do we get our ideas about love? Secondary prevention is what we do at the moment which focuses on self-defense and tertiary is after the fact – how to get support and get access to help.
- Prepare offers a lower school curriculum that focuses on friendships – how do we value friendships? What happens with peer aggression?
- New social norms you need to think about, for example, no one should be offering you gifts or bribes.
- Framing a threat assessment to be alert to boundaries and behavior and incorporate social justice into the curriculum. Teaching children not to be afraid of categories of people.
- Middle School curriculum – we focused on freedom and the opportunities and challenges that come with freedom. The definition of consent and what that means is introduced.
- Safety is a conversation over time and it shifts over time. Educational moments can happen throughout our lives.
- Trust your instincts. Use resources to help you if you are in trouble.
- Reducing vulnerability and raises resilience.
- Classes are taught in adrenaline state learning or state-dependent learning. Prepare offers role-playing scenarios where you experience the natural biological response to danger.
- How to access good decision-making in a real-life scenario that is life-threatening. You get confident from practice
- Programs and classes which focus on threat assessment, psychological preparedness, identifying behavior, and creating an action plan.
- Intuition blockers are based on Freud’s five defense mechanisms – denial, rationalization, justification, minimization, and excuse-making.
- Students and families should know how to get information from college campuses on incidents of violence on campuses.
- Volunteer opportunities at Prepare.
Important Resources and Links:
Meet Donna Chaiet
Donna Chaiet is the founder and President of Prepare, Inc. an educational services company offering programs that focus on Violence Prevention, Communication Skills, and Anti-Bias Training. Prepare is recognized for its ability to create programs that are highly interactive, promote equity, and are custom-tailored.
Ms. Chaiet is a recognized public speaker/educator and has conducted workshops for Fortune 500 companies, Universities, and Social Service Agencies. She is an award-winning author, a blog writer, and quoted in scholarly articles on violence prevention.
Leaders in innovative learning and social-emotional development agree that educating the whole child is key to current and future student success. Since 1992, Prepare has provided the highest quality comprehensive violence prevention education and worked to build safer individuals and communities through comprehensive, evidence-based violence prevention programs that cultivate the personal safety, communication skills, and allied behaviors that contribute directly to the health and wellness of students and their school communities. Prepare’s values and methodology are aligned to educational best practices and incorporate the social and cultural values of the communities where we work.
Thank you to Donna for sharing your story, insights, and advice about violence education and prevention. As parents, there are ways we can start to educate our kids at a young age about violence prevention with primary prevention discussions that focus on changing systems, attitudes, and beliefs. Prepare has programs available at the lower school, middle school, and college levels. Understanding the threat assessment, getting psychologically prepared, learning to identify behaviors, and having the ability to create an action plan are several ways we can help our students have the tools, resources, and knowledge to reduce vulnerability and raise resilience.