School Violence

By Alicia Housel, Sarah Wetherby, Melissa Wood

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School violence is any form of bullying, and physical, emotional, or verbal abuse. It also includes threatening with, or the use of, weapons like guns or knives. School violence may involve any members of the school community. School violence is not exclusive to any level of education or socioeconomic demographic.


Since the tragic killings at Columbine High School in Boulder, Colorado in 1999, school violence and its potential for serious (and sometimes deadly) harm to students and teachers has become a serious concern for school communities, parents and society (Trump, 1999). It's commonly known, however, that the occurrence of fights, bullying and crime in schools has been commonplace amongst students for generations as children from different home lives and value systems are expected to interact and collaborate with each other day in and out within the school setting.

Scholars, community activists, students, the media, and practicing educators make up the authors of the resources listed below. Each voice has a different story to tell and perspective to provide, we hope these links, books, journals, videos and more tell the story of a country (and world) that is invested in keeping their children safe when they are in school, so that students are able to focus on learning - not look over their shoulders in fear (Hoffman, 1996).

Support America's Safe Schools Week!
October 19 - 25, 2008


Constitutional Rights Foundation This website is a great for those looking for resources about school violence. There are multiple online lessons about

S.A.V.E. - students against violence everywhere
S.A.V.E. - students against violence everywhere

topics from the causes or school violence to prevention strategies. The authors "hope that the lessons and resources included in this CRF online site may help to introduce the problem of--and solutions to-- school violence into our schools' educational agendas."
Safe Youth - National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center This website provides link to many outside resources including many branches of the U.S. Dept. of Education and U.S. Dept of Justice. It also has many articles and fact sheets regarding school violence statistics and prevention strategies.
Center for Prevention of School Violence The North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention - Center for the Prevention of School Violence is responsible for this site. It offers a wide-range of resources, including a tool-kit for schools to adopt alternative to suspension programs. This is their Safe School Pyramid which is student focused in order that students are made aware of the issues and play a part in addressing the problems in their schools.
Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice This site provides the reader with a browseable online version of "Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools," a document written by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice (available in both English and Spanish languages).
Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence This site provides statistics regarding school violence for each state within the United States and also offers a searchable database for more resources (videos, journals and books) pertaining to school violence and prevention.
Youth Violence: Fact Sheet (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) This site offers a wide variety of statistics centered around youth violence, and includes statistics on school violence.
Government Innovators Network: Topic: School ViolenceThis site, hosted by the Harvard University: John F. Kennedy School of Government, includes information regarding programs for children who are at-risk, prevention of date related violence, drug prevention, and up to date news relevant to the issue of youth and school violence.

Bullying is a form of school violence
Bullying is a form of school violence

National School Safety Center This site was established in 1984 by way of presidential directive. It offers many resources (books, videos, articles and papers) for schools to educate their students and teachers about school violence. The NSSC also offers School Safety Site Assessments. They are a leader in the field of safety assessment. Here is the 3 page brochure detailing this service.
The Why Files This site is funded by the Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is supported by the National Science Foundation. It answers many questions such as: How dangerous are our schools? Why do kids kill? Also talks about making guns safer.
Keep Schools Safe "Keep Schools Safe is provided as a resource on violence in schools for teachers, school administrators, parents, and students. We provide school safety and school violence prevention information in the form of opinion only. We are not safety experts, each school community must decide what to do on their own, we are just here to help along the way."
KidsHealth for Parents: School Violence and the News This site offers advice to parents on how to properly and effectively keep the lines of
communication open with thier children when school violence issues are reported in the news.schoolviolence.jpg
Bullies: More Than Sticks, Stones, and Name Calling This page, hosted by New York University's Child Study Center, offers a page of questions and answers related to bullying in schools, such as the difference between teasing and bullying, variences in the forms of bullying between genders, and the correlation between the act of bullying and exposure to bullying or violence within the home.
10 Myths About School Shootings This MSNBC article discusses some of the popular myths that seem to surface upon the event of a school shooting, and also includes a message board so readers can discuss the issue.
Friendly Schools & Families This Australian site offers advice to students who are being bullied, parents of students who are being bullied, teachers, and students who may have witnessed school violence or bullying.
Timeline of School Shootings This article, posted by U.S. News and World Report, provides dates and brief descriptions of school shootings in the United States between August 1966 and February 2008.


From WhyFiles.Org
Research on School Bullying and Victimization: What Have We Done and Where do We Go From Here? This article provides current research on bullying and peer vicitimization and offers information on how the findings could be used to help prevent school violence.
The Nature of School Bullying and the Effectiveness of School-Based Interventions This article discusses the different types and causes of bullying and compares programs that have been put into place world-wide as school-violence intervention strategies.
School Bullying and Youth Violence: Causes or Consequences of Psychopathologic Behavior?This study, performed in two Korean Middle Schools, assessed students who bullied, and those who were victimized by bullying, and draws conclusions about the relationship between psychopathologic behaviors and the causes and consequences of bullying.
Childhood Bullying Involvement and Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence This article provides shocking research statistics on the prevalence of bullying by children who may also be exposed to violence at home.
Treating Cyberbullying as a School Violence Issue This article dives into the modern problem of cyberbullying, as opposed to traditional bullying, the effects it can have on students, and the responsibilities of schools to prevent this type of bullying from occurring.



School Violence: An Educational Perspective This power point gives information about how data is collected and what incidents are recorded. It gives National statistics and then specifies NYS. This power point is very informative with many statistics on school violence and the preventative measures being taken by schools in NYS. It also gives more suggestions for increasing security and decreasing violence in schools. Finally, it provides state wide resources and contact information.
Break the Silence - Stop the Violence This power point was put together by The Delaware Police Community Services. It shows the reality of school violence, the reasons behind it. and the fact that it is an urban problem, a suburban problem AND a rural problem. The presentation talks about the causes of school violence and prevention methods.


NYSED Workshop on School Violence This site offers contact information on the locations that offer the School Violence Prevention and Intervention Workshop through the New York State Education Department.
School Safety Leadership Training This training program is offered through the NSSC. "This interactive workshop is designed for members of K-12 public and private school community and college and university professionals who play a critical role in emergency preparedness and disaster response." It is a two-day intensive workshop that focuses on prevention of school violence and how to quickly and effectively respond to school violence. They also give materials to the participants to help them go back and educate their own colleagues and school community.


Undercover Teams: A Restorative Response to School Bullying This blog site explains a detailed process in which students who are being bullied can confide in a support group consisting of six to seven students. This group should consist of males and females, and include students who may show tendencies of bullying, and students who are non-bullied and non-bullying.20070311-violence.jpg


wikiEdResearch: Educational Research and Views (School Violence) This wiki offers an overview of school violence in the 21st century, including factors contributing to school violence, types of violence, intervention, and prevention strategies.
Wapedia: Wiki- School Shooting This wiki offers an overview of school violence, specifically shootings, and provides links (to descriptions and photos) for many of the school shootings that have occurred between 1966 and 2008.


The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective This 52 page report from the FBI describes the personality traits and characteristics of a student who may fit the profile of a "school shooter." The report also includes a section which concentrates on the types of threats themselves, and possible motivation behind these treats.


Curwin, R. & Mendler, A. (1997). As tough as necessary: Countering violence, aggression, and hostility in our schools. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
These authors address the need for discipline in schools through three themes: the challenge of asking educators to change their approach in the classroom in order to implement discipline; the difference between being tough on a student and practicing zero tolerance; and how educators must be willing to receive training, be tough and behave professionally in order to provide a positive role model to their students.

Hoffman, A. (Ed). (1996). Schools, violence and society. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Divided into six sections, this volume contains twenty chapters each with different author(s) discussing varying issues regarding school violence: the causes, legal issues, security, strategies, proposed solutions, and how the community can help.

Benbenishty, R. & Astor, R. (2005). School violence in context : culture, neighborhood, family, school, and gender.
New York: Oxford University Press. School Violence in Context: Culture, Neighborhood, Family, School, and Gender
This book is a result of a study performed by Benbenishy and Astor in Israel, Europe and the United States; the study disclosed to them the cross-cultural relationships and patterns that exist among diverse nations in terms of violent acts in schools.

Sexton-Radek, K. (2005). Violence in schools: Issues, consequences, and expressions. Westport, CT: Praeger.
In response to the continued rise of school violence in schools, Sexton-Radek assembled this book with chapters by educators and academics in order to provide theoretical background on this subject as well as strategies for developing prevention programs and finally information about conflict resolution programs.

Trump, K. (Ed.). (1999). Stopping school violence: An essential guide. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen.
In response to the tragedies at Columbine in 1999, this guide provides strategies for schools to improve their safety and security; divided into five sections this guide covers prevention; crisis management; legal issues, policies and procedures; the Internet; and financial support.

Urso-Spina, S. (Ed.). (2000). Smoke and mirrors: The hidden context of violence in schools and society. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
This compilation of articles, ten in total, represents various viewpoints (from students to educators to psychologists) regarding how each author views violence in schools and how each as individuals believes that the issue ought to be tackled. Varying opinions and an assertion that the violence in schools is not a localized issue, but one spread by the culture in the USA.

Conoley, J.C., & Goldstein, A.P. (2004). School violence intervention: A practical handbook . New York, NY: Guilford Press.
This handbook offers information regarding youth violence and strategies for prevention and intervention including classroom management approaches and before school programs for prevention.


Children See, Children Do: This video depicts the influence that adult behavior may have on children's behavior, specifically violence.

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3rd Graders Plan to Attack Teacher: This news report covers the incident in which nine third graders attending Center Elementary School in Georgia plotted to attack their teacher in April 2008.