Although statistically schools are
relatively safe places, the recurrent episodes of school shootings and the
larger backdrop of youth violence are cause for concern. The links below are to
the voices of students in the schools along with curricula, programs and policy
of Promise: National Campaign to End School Violence (good stats and links
to research reports)
Classroom a cooperative learning technique that reduces racial conflict among school children, promotes better learning, improves student motivation, and increases enjoyment of the learning experience.
Student Perspective on School
"(from the Geek-Profiling
dept) In the days after the Littleton massacre, the country went on a panicked hunt the
oddballs, a profoundly ignorant and unthinking response to a tragedy that left geeks, nerds,
non-conformists and the alienated in an even worse situation than before. All
weekend, these voiceless kids, invisible in media and on TV talk shows and powerless in their own schools,
have been e-mailing me stories.
Here are some of those stories in their own words" More from Voices
from the HellMouth
John Katz wrote some amazing columns for Slashdot.org
about school violence containing hundreds of comments from students,
many of whom are the best and brightest but being alienated by oppressive environments. Many repressive responses
to school violence entail 'geek profiling' that makes the school environment
worse for students who do not conform to narrow expectations. Many of the articles are almost
1MB, so be patient (the original 'Voices from the Hellmouth is almost 2MB, but
One reporter asked me if I had any messages for parents. I didn't, but the thousands of kids and former kids e-mailing me
did: instead of blocking computer games or the Net, support your kids and their culture, and work to make your local school
more humane, creative and responsive to the many students who chose individualism.
"In supposedly media-saturated, violent urban areas
schoolyard massacres are unknown. Nor has one ever occurred in Canada, even though Canadian kids watch almost the
same media as American kids, and use the Net in even greater
numbers... Perhaps the most shocking thing about massacres is that, for all of the massive amounts of coverage brought to bear on them, there really isn't anything approaching a consensus about why they occur. Since educators and authorities don't know what to do, what they tend to do is dumb."
the rights of geeks dept) The cost of being
different has gone up. Thousands of powerful e-mail messages have
chronicled an educational system that
glorifies the traditional and the normal, and brutalizes and alienates people who are or who are perceived as different.
Many of these 'different' kids say they find school boring, oppressive, and utterly
the constitution isn't for kids dept) W.A.V.E., a profit-making program, will use Web sites, toll-free
numbers, T-shirts and cash to encourage students to anonymously turn in classmates they consider depressed,
dangerous or potentially violent."
"What a stunning experience," e-mailed Kathy, "to read these very painful
messages on Slashdot - my son gave me your columns to read -- and to suddenly
realize that one of them was from him. May he forgive me... I knew how unhappy he was, but on some level, I guess I just didn't want to face it. I bought the notion that it's just part of life in high school. What a strange new world that I should get this awareness from a website. Monday, I have an appointment with his principal. It's time for somebody aside from Jason to feel the heat." -from Hope
in the Hellmouth: Looking Ahead
In July, 1998, the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) sought to inject some context into the debate around school violence inspired by the tragic shootings that occurred in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and a number of other communities. In School House Hype: School Shootings and the Real Risks Kids Face in America, JPI
examined the statistical reality of school shootings: Children have a one in a million chance of being killed in their
schools, and that those odds have not changed in recent years, have since been echoed in a number of studies.