ERIC Number: ED417470
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Safety or Discipline: The Real Issue in Public Schools.
Sewall, Angela M.; Chamberlin, Gary D.
The issues of safety and discipline were among those addressed by a task force at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock which conducted a study of the Little Rock School District. During the course of the study, these issues repeatedly sifted to the top among concerns expressed by citizens, parents, teachers, and principals. "Safety" and "discipline" were generally interwoven in the minds of the people contacted. The purpose of this paper was to determine the extent to which each actually represent problems for concern. Based on police reports and school disciplinary information reviewed, there appears to be relatively little evidence that the public schools in Little Rock are inherently unsafe places for students to attend. School principals did not find violence to be an overwhelming problem, and only 13% of teachers and 18% of parents identified it as a major problem. Discipline, on the other hand, is a much different situation. Those finding discipline too lax were 46% of the school principals, 52% of the white teachers, 65% of the African-American teachers, and 70% of the community respondents. It is suggested that stakeholders acknowledge that violence and safety are different issues in public schools than are discipline problems. A positive school climate and proper security, it is claimed, are important, as is the school principal's attitude toward discipline. The media's role in publicizing school violence is considered. (Author/AA.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A