This article discusses a Europe-wide project which aimed to promote Safer Schools through utilising a Charter of ‘democratic principles’. This included the non-violent resolution of conflicts and the right to equal treatment and respect. The first part of this article discusses the empirical findings from original research conducted with five London schools (and their local partners) who participated in this project. It was found that most participants were positive about the project’s potential, with many ‘democratic initiatives’ cited as examples of how the promotion of a principled Charter could produce good practice in combating violence in schools. The second part of this article raises more fundamental questions about the role of democracy in violence prevention programmes. In particular, it questions the assumption of a direct relationship between (non)violence and democratic values, and asks whether it is possible to promote democratic principles within inherently undemocratic institutions such as schools.