Massachusetts - HE K-12 curriculum—violence prevention (HS): Curricula

Policy Type: 
statute; standard

State law addresses violence prevention.

General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 69. Section 1D : Statewide educational goals: academic standards

The standards shall provide for instruction in the issues of nutrition and exercise. The standards may provide for instruction in the issues of physical education, human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome education, violence prevention, including teen dating violence, bullying prevention, conflict resolution and drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse prevention.

General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 71. Section 1: Maintenance; double sessions; subjects; twelve-month school year

Instruction in health education shall include, but shall not be limited to: consumer health, ecology, community health, body structure and function, safety, nutrition, fitness and body dynamics, dental health, emotional development safe and healthy relationships with a focus on preventing sexual and domestic violence, and training in the administration of first aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 71. Section 1: Maintenance; double sessions; subjects; twelve-month school year

The advisory council on violence prevention established by section 1G of chapter 15 shall recommend for approval by the board of education a model curriculum for grades kindergarten through 12 in education programs on violence prevention for the purpose of informing students of the harmful effects of teenage violence, weapons and illegal drug use and of promoting community and social responsibility. The department of education shall send a copy of said curriculum to the superintendent of schools for each school district in the commonwealth. The department shall encourage school districts to implement said curriculum or a variation thereof.

Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework

Violence Prevention:

Violence Prevention addresses actions that bring harm to a person’s body, feelings, or possessions. Violence Prevention acknowledges that violence can affect everyone and that the interaction among a complex set of factors internal and external to individuals influences violence-related attitudes and behaviors. The foundation of Violence Prevention involves skills for teaching students methods to prevent and avoid violence while recognizing the contribution that individuals can make to violence prevention through having good character, acknowledging the rights of others, and living peacefully.

As violence has often been recognized as a major problem that affects not only the health of students in schools, but inhibits schools from accomplishing their primary mission of education, schools have both an obligation and an opportunity to become involved in violence prevention. Students explore personal attitudes and attributes and learn skills for violence prevention. Learning alternatives to violence, such as how to manage anger and resolve conflicts without violence, should be taught at early ages to counteract violence as an accepted way of life. Topics generally covered in Violence Prevention include: Awareness, Contributing Factors, and Alternatives. Self-protection is addressed in Violence Prevention and in Safety and Injury Prevention as well.

PreK–12 Standard 11:

Violence Prevention Students will learn how their actions affect others, will understand the power that positive character traits can have in violence prevention, will gain skills to report incidents of violence and hurtful behavior to adults in the school and community, will avoid engaging in violence, and will identify constructive alternatives to violence, including how to discourage others from engaging in violence.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

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