Therapeutic and Preventive Approaches to School Safety: Applications of a Family Systems Model
9 Pages Posted: 27 May 2020
Date Written: 2000
There is a critical need for reframing the issue of how our schools are responding to concerns about "school violence." Several theoretical approaches support shifting our focus toward more therapeutic and preventive strategies. The remainder of my comments will outline these approaches and will offer specific examples to demonstrate how we might effectively provide better support for children and families in our communities.
The first approach is a relatively new movement in the legal field known as therapeutic jurisprudence. Therapeutic jurisprudence would suggest that we focus on whether our current policies and practices for dealing with concerns about school violence promote the well-being of the children and families who are subjected to them. A second approach that has become closely aligned with therapeutic jurisprudence is "preventive law." Preventive law promotes taking affirmative steps to avoid legal situations that lead to adversarial litigation. The third approach is known as family systems theory. Family systems theory focuses on the child in the context of the family.
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