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Kentucky School Violence Prevention

The Administrative Office of the Courts' Division of Law Related Education has been awarded a demonstration grant from the Los Angeles-based Center for Civic Education to implement the School Violence Prevention Demonstration Program.

Since 1964, the Center for Civic Education through its various programs has been involved in reinforcing social norms of justice, responsibility, and respect for authority and the law. The Center has produced K-12 curricula for civics and government as well as the National Standards for Civics and Government. The Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts' Division of Law Related Education has worked in partnership with the Center since the late 1980s, offering teacher training in Center materials, as well technical assistance and follow-up.

Research in the field of civic education has long demonstrated that the development of responsible citizenship skills, both intellectual and participatory can play a defining role in the way students act and think. The School Violence Prevention Demonstration Program is an attempt to focus attention to ways in which civic education can be used as a tool to combat school violence.

The School Violence Prevention Demonstration Program incorporates the following curricula as basal study materials: 1) We the People...The Citizen and the Constitution which teaches fundamental values of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, 2) We the People... Project Citizen, a program that promotes participation in state and local government, and 3) Foundations of Democracy, a multi disciplinary curriculum that focuses on four concepts fundamental to an understanding of government--authority, privacy, responsibility and justice. These programs are aligned with Kentucky's core content for social studies.

Twenty teachers from eastern Kentucky have been invited to participate in the program. Teachers participating in the program will receive free training, materials (including classroom sets of curriculum materials), travel stipends and after school stipends for participating in teacher training. Teachers who agree to pilot the program must agree to conduct 60-80 hours of instruction in the curricular materials designated for the program, including culminating activities such as the development of portfolios and engaging in simulated congressional hearings.