AbstractMany high schools experience severe difficulties in reducing aggressive behaviour of students. Recent incidents in schools at Rotterdam and Amsterdam illustrate the urgency of the issue of student violence. In most cases schools lack the ability to enhance the competences of students and teachers in dealing with violent situations and aggressive behaviour. This article reports on the findings of a three-year study on these competences and strategies concerning student violence. The study was performed at a Dutch ‘vmbo’-school. The results show how students and teachers manage violent situations. Based on these insights, recommendations are formulated to reduce student violence.