May 16, 2013
LAWT Wire Service
The violence education and prevention school curriculum B.R.A.V.E. (“Be Resilient Avoid Violence Everywhere”), authored by James Shaw, Ph.D., a professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at the Los Angeles Campus, has been approved and accepted by the California Department of Education for use in public middle and high schools. Dr. Shaw has been an educator for over 25 years. At TCSPP he teaches Mental Health Law, Forensic Psychology, Life Span Development and Social Bases of Behavior. Dr. Shaw is also the author of the best-selling book, “Jack and Jill, Why They Kill: Saving Our Children, Saving Ourselves,” currently used in colleges and universities nationwide.
Based on the “psychological empowerment model,” Dr. Shaw wrote B.R.A.V.E. and piloted it with 400 students and 55 teachers at Griffiths Middle School in the Downey Unified School District (CA), after a 6th grader there brought a .38 handgun and began brandishing it.
“‘Psychological empowerment’ is realized when students recognize: (1) that over 99% of school shooters are home-grown and well-known on the very school yards they turn into grave yards; and (2) that they campaign for student body offices and manage their own student elections—why shouldn’t they use their talents to manage and enhance the safety and security of their own campuses,” said Shaw.
“B.R.A.V.E. educates students about their personal and social responsibility in choosing to avoid acts of violence and, instead, pursue peaceful alternatives…” Teaching lessons focus on providing accurate information about violence through statistics on “adolescentcide” (children slain in acts of homicide committed by other children), violence at home and at school, and violence as a crime. It teaches decision-making skills and resistance/resiliency techniques against peer pressure and other provocations, including bullying. Ideas and concepts are brought forward as alternatives to violence in all its forms. Using the case method of instruction, B.R.A.V.E. uses well-known role models to reinforce leadership lessons but is flexible so that teachers can substitute other persons of distinction if they prefer.
“Relatively few ‘outsiders’ or strangers engage in acts of violence on school campuses,” Shaw said.
“B.R.A.V.E. was designed expressly for middle and high school students to arm them with leadership skills to manage and enhance the welfare and safety of their campuses.”
A Downey Unified School District teacher noted, “We have driver training to teach students the rules of the road as they navigate the highway. It only makes sense to have a violence prevention curriculum so they can navigate their own personal and social highways safely.”