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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77951 Find in a Library
Title: Does School Crime Need the Attention of Policemen or Educators?
Journal: Teachers College Record  Volume:79  Issue:2  Dated:(December 1977)  Pages:225-243
Author(s): J P Ruchkin
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 19
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data and policy recommendations regarding crime in schools are examined critically, and strategies are proposed which would emphasize constructive efforts managed by educators rather than physical security approaches managed by law enforcement personnel.
Abstract: Nonschool experts such as politicians and law enforcement personnel have been much more vocal than educators in discussing school safety. Numerous contradictory statements have been made on the nature and extent of school violence and vandalism and ways to deal with them. However, the existence of crime in schools is hardly surprising, given the extent of crime in society and the location in secondary schools of the most volatile and crime-prone age groups. Nevertheless, the widely cited Senate subcommittee report on vandalism in American schools has serious inadequacies, particularly regarding the data's accuracy and the sample's representativeness. Hence, the report's conclusion that violence and vandalism have reached crisis proportions appears premature. Other reports have emphasized the need for improved security systems and procedures and have paid scant attention to curricular responses to school violence. However, a wide range of responses is possible. The response chosen will depend on whether a narrow academic role or a broader community education and service role is envisaged for schools. Data from a recent study on Maryland schools indicate that most misconduct in schools is noncriminal and that such factors as school size, staff monitoring of hallways, and availability and supervision of play yard sports activities are related to crime in schools. This study's findings suggest that minischool annexes should be established as temporary receiving centers to provide personal attention to new pupils and returning long-term absentees. Other potentially beneficial approaches would be a parental classroom model using a male-female teaching team and the integration of some adult education and continuing education into high schools. Educators should manage efforts regarding school safety and should combine reason, common sense, human understanding, and caring along with careful science in studying and resolving safety problems. Footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Crime in schools; High school education; Juvenile delinquency prevention; School delinquency programs; School security; School vandalism
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