A great follow-up activity to Say Something Week is to implement a Fight-Free Days initiative. Because the students have already learned to know the signs and Say Something, this will help reinforce the appropriate behavior and create a more caring climate. Fight-Free Days is an effort that many SAVE Promise Clubs have started in their schools to prevent confrontations and fighting.
Modeled after manufacturers who encourage accident-free days, schools strive to have fight-free days. If students can have a certain number of days without a fight, they are rewarded. The experience has been that the reward does not need to be large. A soft drink or ice cream party, early dismissal from school (five to ten minutes), an extended lunch period or certificates for discounts at local businesses have proven to be much-appreciated rewards. Many may question why we want to reward students for doing the right thing when that is what is expected. Administrators and other school personnel respond to this question by saying that Fight-Free Days helped to get the ball rolling on encouraging positive behavior.
Objectives: Reduce the number of conflicts on school property. Reinforce positive behavior. Recognize the benefits of positive peer pressure.
1. Prepare a plan to submit to your school administrators. Here are some items to include in your plan:
a. How many days students need to remain fight free to receive a reward
b. How students will be rewarded (i.e., school release 10 minutes early, an extended lunch period, some type of food reward, an assembly or coupons to local merchants)
c. If rewards require funds, how the SAVE club will help fund or solicit sponsorship from outside resources (Click here for more ideas.)
d. How you will promote Fight-Free Days with students and faculty (i.e., putting up posters, making morning announcements, passing out tip cards for students, hosting a kick-off event or placing a large sign in front of the school where you can update the number of days that have been fight free)
e. Benefits to students and the school (i.e., reinforcing Say Something, decreasing discipline referrals, decreasing fear in school, decreasing school violence incidents, increasing positive publicity for the school, encouraging positive peer pressure)
2. Present the plan to school administrators and student council to garner support.
3. Solicit rewards to be used.
4. Conduct an awareness campaign with students.
5. Institute the plan.
6. Reward success.
7. Share your success and pictures with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does this activity work? One of our SAVE Promise Clubs that implemented the initiative reported that they used to have daily fights in the lunch room. When a fight broke out, kids would rush to watch. After implementing the initiative, the school made it through the first week with no fights. They were halfway through the second week when the first fight broke out. Instead of running to the fight, someone ran and got an administrator while the other students booed the fighters. Talk about peer pressure to do the right thing!