A person's body language can convey information on their potential for violent behaviour.
Recognising the signals and paying close attention to what is being said and how it is being said can warn staff of impending trouble. Understanding and interpreting this information can help to prevent and avoid violent situations.
- Appearing tense, agitated.
- Increase in restless body movements.
- Pitch and volume changes.
- Shouting or muttering.
- Significant changes in the pace of speech delivery.
- Abrupt replies especially if accompanied by gesticulations.
- Speech directed in 'general' and not at you.
- Pupils become dilated.
- Eye movement increases.
- Eye contact becomes more intense or is broken off.
- Closed eyes / looking down.
- Increase in muscular tension.
- Grinding of jaw / swallowing.
- Sudden loss of colour.
- Arms folded.
- Arms raised.
- Rapid movement or sudden change in position.
- Closing of hands to make a fist.
- Tapping of fingers on surface with changes in rhythm.
- Banging of fist into the palm of a hand.
- Thumping fist or slapping hand on another object.
- Picking up objects.
- Departure from usual or previous posture.
- Moving away.
- Physically moving back.
- Being places where they should not be.
- Jostling pushing or attention seeking.
- Noisiness increases generally.
- Sudden and unnatural quiet.
- Name calling, swearing or being deliberately provocative.
- Feeling of heightened tension.
Help and support
For further advice on this issue, ATL members can speak to their school rep, their branch secretary or their regional official. They can also call the London (020 7930 6441), Cardiff (029 2046 5000), Belfast (028 9078 2020) or Edinburgh (0131 272 2748) offices or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For out of hours enquiries, call the out of office hours helpline on 020 7782 1612 (Monday-Friday, 5-8pm during term time).
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