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NCJ Number: NCJ 196531     Find in a Library
Title: From Words to Weapons: The Violence Surrounding Our Schools
Author(s): Lena M. Chao Ph.D. ; Allan Parachini ; Fernando Hernandez Ph.D. ; Michael J. Cody Ph.D. ; Daniel Cochece Davis
Date Published: 03/1997
Page Count: 191
  Annotation: This report presents data from a study on the perceptions of Los Angeles, California high school students on various issues pertaining to school and community safety and violence offering comparisons based on gender, race, grade, and school, and provides constructive approaches to mitigate the toll of these problems on the communities served by the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Abstract: Growing out of the need to expand the public’s understanding of public safety and school safety, as well as the incidents of gang violence, racial conflict, and intentional shootings creating an impression that public high school campuses are not safe, this study was modeled on the national school-based survey conducted by the National Institute of Justice (1995) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1993). It presents data from 1,802 high school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) on a range of issues related to their experiences with violence, their own and their friends’ weapons possession, and their suggestions for ways to reduce the violence, racial tension and conflict. A questionnaire was administered to the students by multiracial teams of research workers, during the 1995-1996 LAUSD school year. This report presents the comprehensive results of the responses of these students as well as comparison data based on gender, race, grade, and school. The conclusions drawn from this study included: (1) For too long, there has been a preoccupation with terms such as “school safety” implying that schools themselves are violent environments creating a narrow focus, therefore, policy must be more holistic; (2) there are broad and deep variations in perceptions of violence-related issues among the schools surveyed, underscoring the reality that solutions must be tailored to particular school communities and neighborhoods; (3) young people must be involved in any solution; (4) guns are too prevalent and accessible among high school aged young people; (5) the existing metal detector search policies of the LAUSD have failed in detecting weapons and deterring young people from bringing them to school; and (6) miscommunication underlies many of the problems commonly associated with “school safety” and “school violence.” Teens must be afforded better conflict resolution skills and communities need better programs to assure safety to and from school. This study established a foundation for efforts aimed at developing more effective policy in the area of “school safety” and for the communities throughout Southern California. Figures, references, and appendices 1-2
Main Term(s): Crime in schools
Index Term(s): Violence ; Gun Control ; Weapons Violations/Offenses ; Students ; School security ; Handguns ; Public schools ; Schools ; Violent juvenile offenders ; Juvenile delinquency ; Juvenile delinquents ; School influences on crime ; Saturday night specials ; School searches ; Violence prevention
Sale Source: American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
1616 Beverly Blvd.
P.O. Box 26907
Los Angeles, CA 90026
United States of America
Publisher URL: 
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Downloaded on August 27, 2002.
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