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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 192450 Find in a Library
Title: Legislating School Crisis Responses: Good Policy or Just Good Politics?
Journal: Law & Policy  Volume:23  Issue:3  Dated:July 2001  Pages:373-407
Author(s): Pauline M. Pagliocca; Amanda B. Nickerson
Date Published: July 2001
Page Count: 35
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper provides an overview of crisis-response initiatives implemented by school districts following traumatic events, including school violence; examines recent State legislation and other policies; and discusses the advisability of such mandates, given the scant research and evaluation of school crisis response to date.
Abstract: The authors first provide some early examples of crisis response in schools, including anticipation of the event, organization and intervention during the early stages of the crisis, and short-term and long-term adaptation to the crisis. This is followed by overviews of the types of crisis events that occur in schools and typical response protocols. The state of research and evaluation on response protocols is then assessed. Research findings to date have several implications for crisis intervention. First, children are affected by crises and exhibit a wide range of responses. Second, the organization of plans and clarity of responders' roles are important for effective and efficient crisis response. Third, individual characteristics and use of coping strategies influence emergency response workers' ability to perform their duties successfully. Fourth, one-time interventions, such as psychological debriefing, may not be as effective as sustained outreach and interventions in schools and communities that involve open discussion with children, parents, and teachers. Fifth, the effectiveness of interventions may vary, depending on the type of crisis that has occurred. Beyond the aforementioned conclusions, the school crisis research field has not matured to the point where specific recommendations can be made. The paper discusses recent legislation and educational policy regarding school safety and crisis response. A section on the framework for examining legislation and policy addresses the policing function, the educational function, and the crisis management function. A section on the legislative reaction to school violence and other crises focuses on statutes and related policies in New York State and Virginia, two States that have taken legislative action in response to actual and perceived violence in schools across the Nation. These examples are discussed in the context of existing knowledge about crisis intervention. The paper concludes with a discussion of current and future directions for public policy. 32 notes and 120 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Crisis intervention; New York; Political influences; School security; State laws; Violence prevention; Virginia
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