2008 seems destined to be the year of anger management for school districts large and small. Hope, Arkansas, the home of Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee is a small district which adopted the Anderson & Anderson® Anger Management Curriculum during the last week.
While anger management has not yet become part of the core curriculum at any school district, there are a number of novel uses. Here are some of the ways that the Anderson & Anderson curriculum is being used in schools:
1.Anger management as an alternative to suspension. When students are suspended for aggressive behavior, the school district loses the funds for this student while he is out of school and he does not learn anything from the experience.
2.Anger management in after school programs. Along with academic tutoring, anger management is proving to be one of the most promising interventions in after school programs.
3.Anger management for special needs students. Anger management is more effective and far less expensive to address oppositional behavior in students whose disability may cause frustration.
4.Anger management as violence prevention for “at risk” students. Individualized Education Plans for at risk students are beginning to recognize that anger management is an effective intervention for at risk youth.
5.Anger management is adult education schools. Adults in communities throughout the nation are being referred to anger management classes by Courts for person-directed aggression, road rage or some other infraction. Children Services Departments routinely make referrals of adults to anger management classes who are found to be abusive or neglectful of their minor offspring. Public High Schools are beginning to fill the need for providing anger management classes for those parents who are unable to afford to pay for these services.
As more school districts gains experience offering assessments and intervention for anger, stress, communication and emotional intelligence, it is clear that anger management will become the curriculum of choice for middle and high schools nationwide.
George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management