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Are Our Children Safe at School?

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Quarterly Volume: 30 Issue: 1 Dated: Winter 2000-2001 Pages: 20-25
Leonard Novarro
Date Published
6 pages
This article discusses the issue of school violence, which rates have declined since 1999.
The author begins by describing a shooting that happened a couple of blocks away from Gompers Secondary School in Chollas View, San Diego. Students in this urban school were not surprised by the shooting and were also not surprised when the shootings occurred at Columbine High School in 1999. Students at Gompers Secondary School live with violence all the time in their neighborhoods, however, most students report feeling safe while at school. Indeed, the author offers statistics from the Children’s Defense Fund, the U.S. Department of Justice and Education, and the Indicators of School Crime and Safety report to show that the incidents of violence at schools across the country have decline since 1999. Only two types of violent crime have remained at similar levels since 1999: robberies and sexual offenses. The author asserts that the media gives the incorrect impression that our schools are violent places when in actuality, schools across the Nation are increasingly one of the safest places our children can be. The author presents five strategies that the San Diego school system employed to ensure the safety of their students: conflict management and resolution training, peer counseling, open discussion policies, constant monitoring, and coordination of cohesive strategies so that all schools within the district are working together on an ongoing basis. Since violence has declined, the school systems’ biggest problems have become vandalism of school property, graffiti, and other problems such as truancy and bullying. In conclusion, the article underscores the importance of changing students attitudes about violence.


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