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School Violence Prevention

The Science of Safety

Safe is Possible

Safer, more connected schools are possible. There are clear, well-understood and recognized steps that can have a profound impact on reducing school violence.

When students feel safe, learning and teaching are awakened to their fullest. Self-confidence and self-esteem rise, leading to an improvement in test scores and academic achievement. Bullying, self-harm and teen suicide is diminished. We see it happening in culturally diverse schools around the world every day.

Our Programs Work
Our Programs Work

Two Types of Safety

There are two types of school safety. One is physical safety. It is reactive, and easy to see and measure. The other is preventative safety. Both are important. An increase in preventative safety helps decrease the need for more reactive means of enforcing physical safety.

Schools can be intentional about creating a positive culture by understanding the science of school safety, and by teaching students and educators the emotional skills necessary to interact appropriately.

Our Programs Work

Rachel’s Challenge is focused on preventative safety, concentrating on the areas of social emotional connection and learned behaviors which lead to mental and behavioral health. By improving these skills for individuals, it grows security in the school and larger community. It’s the most effective and direct way to address bullying, self-harm, teen suicide and school shootings.

Lost in the System

160,000 students skip school every day for fear of being bullied. It’s a shocking statistic.

Why is that? It’s because when we don’t feel safe, we react with a flight, fight or freeze response.

These 160,000 students are fleeing. For every one of these, there is likely another who is withdrawn, and another one that is fighting the system. None of them are in an emotional state conducive to learning. The problem is much larger than we can easily see.

Psychology of School Safety

Many students aren’t having their basic physical needs met. They come to school hungry or don’t know where they are going to sleep tonight. Even more students don’t feel safe, or that they belong, at school. Creating a school – or at least a classroom – where these needs are met allows students to focus on learning.

Our Programs Work

When a student is connected they are less likely to hurt themselves or others. Teachers who spend time connecting with their students and helping their students connect with each other ultimately buy back teaching time that would otherwise have to be spent on classroom management. Students in this type of environment are freed to learn.

Rachel’s story, and all of our programs, are designed to promote a safe and connected culture; which leads to improved academic performance.

Rachel’s Challenge helps schools become safer and more connected by providing an emotional catalyst in Rachel’s story, coupled with training and tools for processing, followed by purposeful actions that ultimately result in social emotional and academic learning.

Safer and more connected schools

Our Programs Work

The Simplest, Most Powerful thing you can do for Your School in One Day

“The researchers found that teenagers who showed greater connectivity, or interconnectedness, in a set of particular brain regions were less likely to experience pandemic-related depression and anxiety.”


Stanford University

Accept the challenge


Join the nearly 30,000,000 people around the world who have accepted Rachel’s Challenge to start a chain reaction of kindness.