Youth-Led Conference Empowers Students to Help Prevent Violence in U.S. Schools

National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere Hosts Summit, National Youth Violence Prevention Week Activities

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The National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere, a nonprofit dedicated to decreasing the potential for violence in our schools and communities, will help and empower students to create safer schools at its 15th SAVE Summit March 21. The conference and workshop, which hosts youth from around the country, leads into National Youth Violence Prevention Week March 23 to 27. SAVE is a founding partner of the week-long educational movement, collaborating with more than 40 nonprofit sponsors to engage students in daily activities designed to help prevent violence in their own schools.

The SAVE organization is dedicated to educating students to take action in stopping violence in schools, which has become devastatingly common in the United States: (statistics sourced from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • On average, 1,642 young people 10 to 24 years old had physical assault injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments EVERY DAY last year.
  • Between 20 and 33 percent of U.S. students say they have been bullied at school. 70 percent of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.
  • Only about 20 to 30 percent of students who are bullied notify adults.
  • About 17 percent of high school students in 2013 reported taking a weapon to school.
  • Youth violence in the U.S. is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24.

“The goal of the National SAVE Summit is to provide youth with the resources and support to be leaders in their schools,” said Carleen Wray, executive director of SAVE. “The day consists of a series of uplifting, interactive activities intended to engage students in open conversation about youth violence in all of its forms, and to educate and empower them to return to their chapters and implement practical solutions.”

The SAVE Summit, held in Raleigh, will join SAVE participants, students, teachers, law enforcement, counselors and parents together in the fight to stop shootings, bullying and other violence in our schools. Through motivating workshops, peer-to-peer presentations and national acclaimed speakers, the Summit will showcase successful practices in violence prevention and train participants in effective ways to create an overall safer environment.

Since its inception in 1989, SAVE has grown from one school group to more than 2,100 chapters located in seven countries and 48 states. The organization mentors and provides resources, confidence and support to empower student leadership to help prevent school shootings, eliminate bullying and make their schools and communities safer for everyone.

In addition to the SAVE Summit, elementary, middle and high schools, colleges and community organizations across the country will participate in National Youth Violence Prevention Week. The initiative aims to raise awareness and prevent youth violence with each day corresponding to specific suggested challenges presented by one of the premier sponsor organizations, as follows.

  • Monday, March 23: Promote Respect and Tolerance day is hosted by Teaching Tolerance, an organization dedicated to reducing prejudice and supporting equitable school experiences for children. Schools can hold a cultural day to celebrate activities, dress and customs f rom groups around the world.
  • Tuesday, March 24: Manage Your Anger, Don’t Let It Manage You day is hosted by the American School Counselor Organization, which supports school counselors’ focus on student development. This day challenges students to create signs or codes to use to communicate when they are angry so they do not let it get out of control.
  • Wednesday, March 25: Resolve Conflicts Peacefully day is hosted by the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network, which aims to ensure each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Students can observe conflicts and engage in group discussions to find effective ways to resolve them.
  • Thursday, March 26: Resolve Conflicts Peacefully day is hosted by the School Safety Advocacy Council, which provides training to school districts, law enforcement agencies and school safety professionals. School administrators will be challenged on this day to conduct a survey to assess students’ perceptions of safety during the school day and ask for suggestions to improve.
  • Friday, March 27: Unite in Action day is hosted by Youth Service America, which increases the number and the diversity of volunteer opportunities for youth around the globe. To wrap up the week, a final challenge will work to “beautify” the school or community by cleaning up graffiti/vandalized areas.

For more information on the SAVE Summit, visit www.nationalsave.org/summit. For more information on National Youth Violence Prevention Week, visit www.nationalsave.org/NYVPW.

About the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere:
SAVE started at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1989 following the tragic death of a student who was trying to break up a fight at an off-campus party. Students met first to console each other, then as an organization to promote youth safety and to work together to prevent future incidents from occurring. SAVE provides education about the effects and consequences of violence and helps provide safe activities for students, parents and communities. For more information on SAVE or starting a SAVE chapter, visit www.nationalsave.org, or contact SAVE at (866) 343-SAVE to receive free startup materials and guidance.

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