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How Safe Is a School?: An Exploratory Study Comparing Measures and Perceptions of Safety

NCJ Number
Journal of School Violence Volume: 9 Issue: 4 Dated: October-December, 2010 Pages: 357-374
Diley Hernandez; Lysbeth Floden; Kris Bosworth
Date Published
October 2010
18 pages
This study investigated the relationship between students' and teachers' perceptions of school safety and incident reports to local law enforcement.
This exploratory study investigates the relation between incident reports to local law enforcement, and students' and teachers' perceptions of school safety. Using a combination of grounded theory and statistics, the authors compared quantitative data collected from law enforcement agencies with qualitative data provided by students and teachers during focus groups. Findings show that incidents of serious violence and attacks, minor violence, and other school-related crime, in that order, constituted the most frequently reported incidents. Infrequently reported events included intimidation and bullying, and weapon and alcohol possession. In some cases, even though both students and teachers had similar perceptions of safety, their perceptions did not necessarily match the frequency of official incident reports. Tables, references, and appendix (Published Abstract)