Violence at School and Work

The “101”

Violence takes various forms. It can be physical, meaning an injury happens to your body. Violence can also be emotional, meaning the injury happens to your mind and your spirit. The “weapons” of violence could be objects like a gun or knife, a physical action like a kick or a punch, or words that are spoken, written, or posted online.

One type of violence is bullying, which is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Another form of violence is harassment, which is systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands.

Violence where people learn and work is never okay. It is unhealthy. And it’s a crime. If you experience violence yourself or see it happen to someone else be sure to let an adult you trust know about it or report it to a law enforcement authority.

Reflect On It

Write in your journal (download journal) any thoughts you have as you think about this topic, using the questions below:

Learn More

Go to for answers to questions about bullying and suggestions for what to do next. Learn their tips for creating a safe environment for LGBTQ youth. 

Check out these suggestions and resources from Youth@Work for how to handle harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

Take Action!

Stop Bullying at School

Stop Sexual Discrimination and Harassment at School

Watch the Sexual Harassment: Not in Our School! video, which follows a high school gender equity club interviewing nationally recognized education, legal, and LGBTQ+ experts about their gender equity rights. Then follow the action plan, which offers simple steps and engaging activities youth and trusted adults can take to address sex discrimination in elementary and secondary schools.

Get Help for Bullying or Harassment

If you are being bullied at school or harassed at your school or workplace, it’s important you tell a trusted adult what is happening. They can help you report the situation and join you in trying to get it stopped.

Report Discrimination and Harassment at School

If you are experiencing discrimination or harassment in an education setting, you have the right to report such incidents to the educational institution or to a public authority, without fear of retaliation. Report what is happening to the school, college, or university administration directly or to the state or local public agency that oversees education laws. Sometimes these offices and agencies are called “office of diversity and inclusion,” “office of equal opportunity,” “school district,” or “department of education.” You may also report allegations of discrimination and harassment in education settings to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. The How to File a Discrimination Complaint With the Office for Civil Rights pamphlet explains how.

Report Discrimination and Harassment at Work

If you are experiencing discrimination or harassment in the workplace, you have the right to report such incidents to your employer or to a public authority, without fear of retaliation. Report what is happening to the human resources section or manager of your workplace or to a state or local public agency that administers civil rights laws. Sometimes these agencies are called “office of civil rights” or “equal opportunity commission.” Your workplace should have a notice posted of where to report discrimination or harassment.

Report Violence of Yourself or Others

Have you experienced violence and don’t know what to do next? Are you aware of someone else being victimized but are unsure what to do about it? Do you have questions about violence? Call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) then push 1 to talk to a counselor. The counselor will help you determine what to do next. The National Child Abuse Hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

Get Help to Prevent or Stop Yourself from Acting Violently

If you are seriously considering harming another person or afraid you will lose control of your emotions and could do so, you must address this serious health issue. Ask the adult responsible for your health care to arrange an appointment with your healthcare provider, or set one for yourself if you are responsible for your own care. Also, a school staff member or a workplace human resources manager may be able to help connect you to appropriate services. (It’s okay if for confidentiality reasons you do not want to disclose exactly why you want the appointment.) If you do not want to involve an adult, get help on your own. Find free or low-cost mental health services by ZIP Code and type of service or use the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or online.

If you have harmed another person or group of people, it’s essential that you report that to an adult you trust or directly to a child protection or law enforcement agency. Committing violence is a serious health issue, as well as a legal matter. Get the help you need to prevent yourself from acting violently again. And also by disclosing your violent action, the person or people you harmed can get help too.

Report Violence in Progress

Call 911 for emergency services if you are experiencing violence, witnessing violence, or if you or another person is at immediate risk of violence.

Stop Yourself from Committing Violence

Call 911 for emergency services if you are seriously considering committing violence against another person or group of people or if you have just done so.

Close Topic