ERIC Number: EJ704950
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun-1
Reference Count: 13
The Root of School Violence: Causes and Recommendations for a Plan of Action
College Student Journal, v38 n2 p199 Jun 2004
American crime and violence have overflowed onto the college/university campus, and are now affecting senior high, junior high and elementary schools. This research presents suggested causes of school crime and also suggests possible solutions. In most urban environments, crime is a "way of life." When assessing the family incomes of children, most who were victims came from family situations whose incomes were $7,500 or less per year (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2002). Family risk factors include any history of family crime and violence, lower or lack of expectations by parents, the lack of monitoring by parents, parental involvement in drugs, and child abuse and neglect. Community factors include the availability of weapons, drugs, violence, large numbers of broken homes/families, high transient populations, and economic deprivation within the immediate area. School risk factors include such things as early delinquent behavior(s), academic failure, lack of commitment to school, and gang involvement. When developing a plan of action or a plan of prevention, each school should involve community services, staff, parents, teachers, and students. Evaluation procedures and routes should be identified and posted in various locations. This should be done after evaluating the school building plans to find vulnerable areas. These vulnerable areas may include doors which don?t open, areas which are more easily accessible to the "criminal element," etc. After assessing the school building plans, discussing an evaluation plan(s), getting to safe areas should be practiced by the school community-at-large. A system of communication should also be in place should communications fail. Once a general plan has been developed, principals, teachers, staff and students should ensure that everyone is familiar with the plan and there are practices to ensure that all exit an adverse situation (i.e., bomb threats, etc.). Meeting areas for classes/building areas should be developed, asa contacting needed agencies. Local numbers for emergency workers should be posted in various locations. Drills should be conducted for various types of adverse situations, with teachers, staff, and students completely rehearsed so panic does not enter the situation (making it worse). Teachers must report to the principal or administration any threats, and signs of discussions about weapons, violence, etc. Teachers must also be aware of possible "gang" activity within the school. They must also learn and teach conflict resolution and anger management techniques to their students. It is suggested that EVERY school have a "crisis response team" which are people designed for specific responsibilities which include a staff person with (some) medical knowledge/training; an on-site school counselor or a staff/teacher person who has had (some) counseling techniques training; a person to whom accidents/incidents are reported; persons responsible for notifying emergency officials and parents; and, someone who maintains walkie-talkies in case of communication disruption, etc. The principal/teachers/staff/students should be aware of various types of alarms and whistles (disasters, intruders, bomb treats, suspicious mail, etc.). Various companies and bookstores supply information concerning lesson plans, curricula, and activities focusing on crime and violence in schools. Some of the information includes subjects such as bullying, anger-management skills, conflict resolution, character education healthy choices, harassment, violence prevention, drug abuse prevention.
Descriptors: Student Behavior, School Safety, Violence, Crime Prevention, Strategic Planning, Delinquency, Educational Environment, Discipline Policy
Project Innovation, Inc., P.O. Box 8508, Spring Hill Station, Mobile, AL 36689-0508. Web site: http://journals825.home.mindspring.com/csj/html.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: Parents; Students; Support Staff; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States