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NCJ Number: 171009 Find in a Library
Title: Schools Are Vulnerable to Cultures of Violence
Journal: School Safety  Dated:(Winter 1998)  Pages:9-13
Author(s): M W Collier
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study identifies three key factors that characterize school "cultures of violence."
Abstract: Having worked for 10 years in New York inner-city high schools, John Devine concluded that the ethos of fear experienced by students resulted from school cultures of violence that allowed neighborhood or local "street" crime to infiltrate them. He describes a school's culture of violence as a situation in which acts of violence become normalized in daily school life. He further concluded that when schools have three key factors that characterize school cultures of violence -- discourses of denial, noncaring school atmospheres, and remiss security forces -- the boundary between school and neighborhood becomes porous, and the school is invaded by neighborhood crime. This article summarizes a 1997 study of school violence in the Miami-Dade County (Florida) public schools. Four Miami-Dade public high schools were selected for a multi-method study of school violence. Crime statistics, interviews with Miami-Dade police, and student focus groups show that in three of the four schools, the surrounding neighborhoods were extremely violent and crime-ridden. These same three schools were also found to have high levels of school violence. Based on the totality of evidence concerning high levels of school violence and the presence of discourses of denial, noncaring atmospheres, and remiss security forces, the three high schools were determined to have strong school cultures of violence. This article concludes that by confronting the key factors that contribute to the creation of school cultures of violence and combining these actions with strategies related to increasing school physical security and improving student intervention programs, school officials may yet eliminate school violence and associated student fear. 2 tables and 11 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Crime in schools; Cultural influences; Florida; Violence; Violence causes
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