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Recognizing and Preventing School Violence

NCJ Number
Facts You Can Use Volume: 3 Issue: 3 Dated: Fall 1999 Pages: 1-28
Cecil Goldberg
Date Published
28 pages
Four articles discuss ways to make schools safe, indicators of school crime and safety, the prevention of violence in schools, measures and resources for school security, and case studies of school interventions.
The first article, "Making Our Schools Safe," notes that between 1989 and 1995, there were steady increases in the number of students feeling unsafe while they were at school and going to and from schools. Still, schools were comparatively safe and secure places. Students were more likely to be raped, sexually assaulted, robbed, or injured when away from school and in their homes. The first in a series of annual reports on school crime and safety from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics presents the latest available data on school crime and student safety. Because the report relies on so many different data sets, the age groups and the time periods analyzed vary from indicator to indicator. Data for 1996 pertain to the number of nonfatal crimes against students ages 12 through 18 that occurred at school or going to or from school by type of crime and selected student characteristics. Data presented for 1996-97 address public school reports on violent crime. The number of violent deaths at schools encompass the combined 1992-93 and 1993-94 school years. The number of nonfatal teacher victimizations at school focus on the years 1992-96; and information on students' feeling unsafe while at school encompasses the years 1989-95. Another article, "Stemming the Tide of School Violence," provides information on the role of schools and communities in intervention and prevention efforts to prevent the occurrence of violent behaviors among school-aged youth, as well as the teaching of prosocial, adaptive alternatives to violent and aggressive behaviors. In addition, a general overview of school violence and information on early warning signs and resources for further assistance is provided. Three intervention program profiles cover the Cities in Schools (CIS) programs in Broward County, FL; Detroit, MI; and Wichita/Sedgwick County, KS. An overview of school violence and safety precaution measures addresses zero tolerance policies, school uniforms, security measures, law enforcement representatives in schools, violence prevention or reduction programs, and policies to prevent firearms in school. Frequently asked questions and a list of resources on the Web are also provided.