ERIC Number: ED410631
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Exploring Issues of School Violence: The "Code of Silence."
MacDonald, Irene M.; da Costa, Jose L.
Although school violence has been a concern in the United States for over two decades, the topic has only recently generated serious study in Canada. Central to the development of effective violence-mitigation policies is an understanding of how and why student victims, perpetrators, and observers respond to the school-based violence they experience. This paper introduces research exploring such issues through the viewpoint of students at five central Alberta junior high schools. The study explored the variables that most influenced students' responses to violence, as well as their perceptions regarding their schools' responses to the victims and perpetrators of violent behaviors. Data were gathered from a questionnaire of 231 out of 381 students from grades 7-9, 5 principals, and 23 out of 39 junior high school administrators from 39 junior high schools in three school districts. Findings show that students' and administrators' perceptions and ways of dealing with violence in the schools differed markedly. Students expressed an unwillingness to report violence for fear of reprisal and perceived a lack of teacher concern and effectiveness. Observers actively chose not to report the violence they witnessed. Recommendations for breaking the "code of silence" include: (1) encourage staff to speak freely; (2) provide victim support; and (3) invest in prevention programs. Ten tables and one figure are included. (Contains 30 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada