Resources for School Safety
Educators Should Match Safety Programs and Policies to TheirSchool's Situation
A guide to violence prevention programs and policies suggests that educatorsadopt programs and policies tailored to their school's unique needs, resources,and safety goals.
Educators most concerned with responding to emergencies and restoring campussafety might place priority on developing crisis management plans. In otherschools, unannounced locker searches, metal detectors, surveying trouble areaswith closed-circuit television, and security officers may be more appropriate,write researchers Robert Linquanti and Beth Ann Berliner.
In less dire situations, educators might implement programs that teach studentsprosocial behaviors and skills. Conflict resolution programs, for example,teach students to work cooperatively, make fair decisions, and solve problemspeacefully. Multicultural and bias identification programs target the racialand ethnic prejudices that are often at the core of violence. Some curriculaemphasize students taking responsibility for their actions and caring for oneanother. Instruction may also focus on building students' moral reasoning anddecision-making skills.
As part of their comprehensive, long-term prevention program, educators shouldview students as a resource. Educators can give students opportunities to helpeach other through peer tutoring programs and to help society though communityservice programs, assert the researchers.
Source: Rebuilding Schools as Safe Havens: A Typology for Selecting andIntegrating Violence Prevention Strategies is available from the NorthwestRegional Educational Laboratory, 101 SW Main St., Ste. 500, Portland, OR97204-3297. Cite order no. NL-195-NE, 37 pp.
Rural Communities Deter Youth Violence and Substance Use with ComprehensiveDevelopment
Violence and substance use are often perceived as urban problems while ruralcommunities are imagined as free of violent crime and insulated from gangs anddrugs. But that's not so, according to a new book on the nature and extent ofviolence and drug use in rural America.
The authors agree that overcoming myths about rural areas is the first steptoward crime prevention and intervention. They discuss factors contributing torural crime and drug use and suggest deterrence methods.
These problems are not "imports" from cities but result from changes in ruralcommunities, says the book. Change is at the root of problems facing ruralcommunities, but community revitalization can become a powerful tool forcombating these difficulties. Effective prevention and intervention effortsrequire accurate information about individual communities.
A community development approach suggests collaboration among rural communitiesand researchers, deterrence agencies, universities, education, and others. Onesuch partnership, between the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and two smallWisconsin cities, is profiled.
Source: Perspectives on Violence and Substance Use in Rural America isavailable from the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 1900 SpringRd., Ste. 300, Oak Brook, IL 60521-1480. Cite order no. P94-001-PVS, 176 pp.
NASBE Study Guide Recommends Safe School Practices for Policymakers
The National Association of State Boards of Education has released itsrecommendations for education policymakers who are confronting the violencethat threatens children and youth. Defining "school violence" as "societalviolence that has penetrated the schoolhouse walls," the report says the roleof the school in violence prevention is "indeed a critical one."
The NASBE study advocates a communitywide response to youth violence, promptingeducators and state officials to create safe, supportive school climates forstudents and staff. It promotes long-term implementation of ethics, conflictresolution, and peer mediation curricula that teach young people to handleanger and disagreements nonviolently. Rather than expelling disruptivestudents, educators should provide alternative education programs thatincorporate challenging academic and counseling components.
State boards of education can also do their part by developing detailedstatewide plans to deal with violence against youth and children, advises thereport. Such plans should foster safety in school cultures, provide forcounseling and similar intervention programs as needed, and encouragecollaboration among schools, state agencies, and community organizations.
At the same time, "state boards must assure that a continuum of sanctions isavailable for children and youth who have been disruptive or delinquent," thereport says.
A Checklist for Action concludes three of the four chapters in the report.
Source: Schools Without Fear: The Report of the NASBE Study Group on Violenceand Its Impact on Schools and Learning is available from the NationalAssociation of State Boards of Education, Publications, 1-12 Cameron St.,Alexandria, VA 22314. Cite title when ordering, 32 pp.
Practical Blueprints Help Educators Deal With Campus Violence
Curbing school violence and coping with its aftermath are the topics of twopublications from the SouthEastern Regional Vision for Education (SERVE).
The first, Hot Topics: Reducing School Violence, advises administrators toestablish detailed procedures for dealing with violent situations beforeviolence strikes. Then, should a crisis arise, they can defuse it swiftly andpreserve the school's learning environment. A plan for institutingcommunication links between students, faculty, and the media is included aswell as specific programs for counseling and enforcing the school conduct code.
Administrators are encouraged to combine physical security measures, such asmetal detectors and guards, with effective counseling to help students controlanger and solve problems nonviolently.
The second publication, Reducing School Violence: BuildingResiliency: A Framework for School Safety is a newly released expansion of Reducing School Violence. It isdesigned to help teachers, school principals, district administrators, resourcepersonnel, and parents overcome the aftereffects of violence and disruptionwhile enhancing school safety.
Blending usable research and successful practice, this publication offersstrategies and options for establishing a framework for school safety,preventing school violence, and responding to violent incidents. Exemplarylocal, state, and national programs are highlighted. Anexamination of current research and a discussion of assessment andplanning elements provide a context for identifying school safety needs andways to address those needs.
Source: Reducing School Violence: BuildingResiliency: A Framework for School Safety is available from the SouthEastern Regional Vision for Education, Rte. 1, Box8500, 3841 Reid St., Palatka, FL 32177. Cite title(s) with orderplus $2.50 shipping for orders of $30 or less.
Please make checks to NEFEC/SERVE.
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