~~* Paul's Justice Blog - launched July 4 *~~

School Violence & School Shootings

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 analysis.

Bureau of Justice Statistics: School Crime & Safety 2007 [2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] 2000]

"When I get up to go to school in the morning, I don't want to feel like I'm going to a correctional facility."

National Academy of Science: Deadly Lessons: Understanding Lethal School Violence (2003 - entire book online)

Lethal Violence in Schools (report)

Ribbon of Promise: National Campaign to End School Violence (good stats and links to research reports)

Jigsaw 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 Violence

"(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 worth it). 

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School Violence Resources

School House Hype: Two Years Later (Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice - also check out their Juvenile Justice Information Center)

Safer Saner Schools.org: reduce school violence through restorative justice.  See the recent evaluation of restorative justice in Scottish Schools

Natl Crime Prevention Council ~ see additional topics related to Youth/Teenagers

Center for the Prevention of School Violence

School Safety resources from NCJRS (National Criminal Justice Reference Service)

Warning signs of violence (Amer Psych Assoc)

Keep Schools Safe National Assoc. of Attorneys General and the National School Boards Assoc.  

Toward Safe and Orderly Schools—The National Study of Delinquency Prevention in Schools (Natl Inst of Justice)

U.S. Dept. of Education: Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program or Early Warning Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools

Natl Resource Center for Safe Schools

Natl School Safety Center created by Presidential directive in 1984 

The Professional Cartoonists Index has a large number of political cartoons and commentary on school shootings. There are many insightful and thought-provoking illustrations of the problem - good for an alternative data source or material to stimulate discussion. (Teacher's Guide)

Guide for Preventing and Responding to School Violence from the International Assoc of Chiefs of Police

Alternatives to Expulsion - removing kids from school displaces rather than solves the problem. Part of Preventing Youth Violence in Urban Schools (1996 Columbia U.) [More info on suspensions]

Natl Assoc of School Resource Officers non-profit training organization and certification program. See also A Guide to Developing, Maintaining, and Succeeding With Your School Resource Officer Program: Practices From the Field for Law Enforcement and School Administration" (256 p, Adobe/pdf, Natl Inst of Justice)

Natl Education Association: Safe Schools Now ~ National PTA ~ Educators for Social Responsibility

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence - school violence project and no bullying project

Specific Episodes of School Violence

Jeff Weise & March 2005 Minnesota School Shooting

Jonesboro info - from the Arkansas Gazette

Columbine info -  from Jigsaw.org, run by social psychologist Elliott Aronson. Link goes to Ch 1 of his book, No One Left To Hate: Teaching Compassion After Columbine

Sanatana High Shooting: transcript of Washington Post open forum with 

The Role of Television News in the Construction of School Violence as A "Moral Panic" (Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture)
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.
-from Hope in the Hellmouth: Looking Ahead
"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."
- from Why Kids Kill
"(from the 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 hostile."
-from The Price of Being Different
"(from 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."
-from Geek Profiling: The Next Wave

Related StopViolence Pages

Shooting Rampage at Virginia Tech (April 2007)

Growing list of links at Pajamas Media (don't let the name put you off - good collection of information). Please check back for more information as solid analysis becomes available. 

Student Wrote About Death and Spoke in Whispers, But No One Imagined What Cho Seung Hui Would Do - washingtonpost.com [By Ian Shapira and Michael E. Ruane April 18, 2007; Page A01] Long article does a good job of providing a portrait of the shooter. 

Lessons of the Virginia Tech Shooting Should We Lock Up All of the Maniacs (Findlaw.com commentary on mental health law)

Report of the Virginia Tech Review Panel

General information on University Campus Security (Natl Criminal Justice reference Service)

"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

number of school shootings and deaths in the 1990s

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.

From School House Hype: Two Years Later Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice. See also

Schools and Suspensions: Self-Reported Crime and the Growing Use of Suspensions
(Justice Policy Institute - click on title for full report)



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