School Violence

School violence has come into the public eye after deadly multiple shootings in such places as Littleton, Colorado; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Santee, California; Red Lake, Minnesota; Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania; and Cleveland, Ohio. The possibility of school shootings has become an issue for urban, rural, and suburban communities alike. Since 1992, more than 40 schools have experienced multiple victim homicides, many in communities where people previously believed “it couldn’t happen here.”

Given the number of students and schools in the United States, multiple-victim homicides are still extremely rare, and in recent years, the overall rate of violence in schools has actually declined. Physical conflicts, threats, and harassment are, however, still common. Many students and teachers are more fearful than ever before when they enter the doors of their school. This climate of fear makes it more difficult for schools to provide positive learning environments.

The causes of school violence are subject to much speculation. Violence does not stand alone; there are usually multiple indicators. Possible contributors to school violence mentioned in the literature include the following:

Guidance for school violence prevention and response is offered in each of the following areas:

The roles of school administrators, teachers, and staff are discussed. In addition, student, parent, law enforcement, and community roles are addressed. Throughout the report, text boxes provide more in-depth information or illustrate the potential value of the suggestions using actual cases of school violence.

Read the rest of this excellent guide for preventing and responding to school violence at The International Association of Chiefs of Police

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New Jersey Resources