Chapter 10

The Educational Community

Schools and universities today face serious crime and victimization problems. For too many students, teachers, and administrators, school is no longer a safe haven. Daily threats to the safety of students and staff, including violent assaults, are commonplace in many communities. Each time students are threatened or injured in school, they are doubly victimized-by the crime itself and then by the disruption of their ability to concentrate and learn.

Crime in Schools

Several studies have documented the pervasiveness of crime and violence in our nation's schools. In a 1991 report entitled School Crime: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report, the U.S. Department of Justice found that more than 400,000 students nationwide were estimated to have been victims of violent crimes at school during an 8-month period.1 Equally alarming, the study found that during the same period, 430,000 students had taken guns, knives, brass knuckles, razor blades, spiked jewelry, and other objects to school to protect themselves from attack or harm. In 1993, a survey found that half of students in grades 6 through 12 had witnessed some type of crime or victimization at school, and about one of every eight students reported being personally victimized at school.2

School violence plagues teachers as well. The National Institute of Education found in 1993 that nearly 5,200 secondary school teachers are physically attacked at school each month, with 1,000 suffering injuries serious enough to require medical care.3 The same study found that at least 130,000 teachers each month are victims of theft.4 After examining more than 1,000 teachers working in what they themselves described as "combat zones," Alfred Bloch, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, observed: "What we are seeing is very much akin to the kind of stress that soldiers in World War II and the Korean War had experienced." Teachers in the study described symptoms of fatigue, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular problems, and hypertension.5

Crimes committed most on school grounds include assaults, robbery and extortion,6 but even what is often characterized as harmless schoolyard bullying can have a serious adverse impact on students, teachers, and parents. One in ten students is victimized by a bully, often leaving permanent emotional scars that children carry into adulthood. Institutional tolerance can be equally damaging for the bully as well. Research indicates that a child who bullies others has a one in four chance of having a criminal record before age 30, compared with a one in 20 chance for children who do not bully their peers.7

The issue of weapons, especially guns, in schools has also received national attention. In one tragic incident in January 1989, a man carried an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle onto an elementary school campus in Stockton, California and opened fire, killing five children and injuring 29 students and a teacher. In May 1992, four students were slain and 11 injured when an ex-student entered a high school in Olivehurst, California, and opened fire.8 On October 1, 1997, a 16-year-old boy in Pearl, Mississippi stabbed his mother to death, drove to his high school with a rifle hidden under his trench coat, killed his former girlfriend and another girl, then wounded seven other students.9 Reports of such terrifying incidents are all too common today, and they have a dramatic impact not only on students where the crisis occurred but also on parents, teachers, and the community at large.

The alarming rise of gang activity among students is well-documented as well. From the 1920s on, gang violence has increased and intensified in American schools, and today, it is characterized by notorious senselessness.10 A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice found that there were approximately 1,000 known gangs with a combined membership of 50,000 operating in the United States by the end of the 1970s.11 By the late 1980s these numbers increased to approximately 5,000 gangs with an estimated membership of 250,000.12 While some school administrators have been reticent to acknowledge the presence of gang activity in their schools, students provide a much different picture. In a nationwide study of school violence in 1991, 15 percent of students surveyed reported that gangs were active on their campus, and 16 percent indicated that they had witnessed gang members engaging in threatening acts against a teacher.13 In the 79 U.S. cities with populations over 200,000, 91 percent reported having a gang problem that had spread from the streets into areas traditionally considered safe havens, such as schools.14 The mere presence of gangs in a school increases tensions among students and teachers. If they are not rooted out, gangs will almost certainly lead to an increase in violence, fear, and drugs.15

The 1982 Final Report of the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime recognized the important role that educators can play in assisting victims and preventing crime. The Task Force urged school authorities to take the following immediate action:

Develop guidelines for statistical tracking and prompt reporting of violent crimes committed in schools, crimes committed against school personnel, and the possession of weapons or narcotics.

Check the arrest and conviction records for sexual assault, child molestation or pornography offenses of anyone applying for work in a school.

Develop and provide courses on the problems, needs, and legal interests of victims of crime.

Be mindful of their responsibility to make students aware of how they can avoid being victimized by crime.

Since the release of the 1982 report, attention to school violence has increased greatly, and scores of programs have been developed to protect the safety of students, teachers, and administrators. In 1984, the National School Safety Center (NSSC) was created by presidential directive as a partnership among the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Education, and Pepperdine University. NSSC's mandate is to promote safe schools and help ensure quality education for children nationwide. NSSC serves as a clearinghouse for current information on school safety issues and has produced important documents on addressing violence in the schools, including a comprehensive guide to school safety law to help educators implement campus violence prevention programs.

In 1987, the final report of the President's Child Safety Partnership recommended that child safety be made a part of all school curricula and that communities and schools make a concerted effort to involve youth in programs that improve their well-being.16 More recently, Congress passed the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act in 1994, authorizing the creation of the Safe and Drug Free Schools Program through the U.S. Department of Education. The program is the federal government's primary vehicle for reducing school violence through education and prevention activities. Its wide-ranging initiatives work toward meeting the seventh National Education Goal, which states that, "By the year 2000, every school in America will be free of drugs and violence and will offer a disciplined environment conducive to learning."17

School-Based Victim Assistance Programs

Many schools are forced to respond to incidents such as shootings, kidnapings, sexual assault, and hate crimes that occur on school grounds. How a school responds to such a crisis affects the healing and the education of its students. Schools cannot work in isolation from their communities, however, and assistance must be developed with the involvement of families and the community. Comprehensive, culturally sensitive school-based victim services can help schools suffering chronic trauma better respond to students, teachers, and other staff who are victimized.

A number of schools have established victim service programs offering crisis intervention counseling and stress reaction training as well as curricula on victim assistance and violence prevention. These programs are helping students and teachers better respond to stressful events in their lives and in the lives of those around them.18

Victim Services in New York City, the largest victim assistance provider in the country, has responded to school violence through the creation of the Safe Harbor program, which grew out of a school-based victim assistance and peer mediation program. Safe Harbor is a comprehensive school-based victim assistance/violence prevention program designed to help students, faculty, and families cope with the violence they struggle with in their lives, not only at school but at home and on the streets. The program consists of five components: the PEARLS (People Empowered About Real Life Situations) victim assistance/violence prevention curriculum, individual counseling, parent involvement and teacher training, structured group activities including focused discussions and informal activities, and schoolwide anti-violence campaigns. An evaluation of Safe Harbor funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the program reduced violent behavior in the school, especially when students participated in more than one component of the program.

Many schools and law enforcement agencies have teamed up to create School Resource Officers (SRO) programs in communities across the country. The programs place specially trained police officers in schools to create and maintain safer learning environments. SROs act as counselors and mentors as well as school law enforcement officers. While SROs are primarily "peacekeepers," their duties include giving students guidance in and out of school and serving as a link for students who seek additional student-related services.

With funding from the Office for Victims of Crime, the Tariq Khamisa Foundation has developed an interactive program, the Violence Impact Forum, for underserved victim populations in elementary and middle schools in San Diego, California. The program gives young victims an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue with adult and peer "panelists" who have experienced the trauma of violence firsthand and seek alternatives to violence.

The United Federation of Teachers in New York City runs a Victim Support Program (VSP) to assist school staff members who are victims of school-related crime. Program services include outreach to victims, psychological counseling and referrals for long-term treatment, training for social service providers and school administrators for dealing with victims and trauma, and school site visits to provide assistance in resolving a school's ongoing trauma. VSP also offers an array of practical assistance and advocacy services such as helping with procedures and forms and accompanying victims to court and medical appointments.

The Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes have stationed a juvenile officer in their public school system who is trained to facilitate conflict resolution, ensure student safety, and address child abuse and neglect. The officer helps the school system provide immediate intervention, assessment, and referrals to appropriate agencies when incidents of violence or intimidation occur.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) published Death at School, a publication to assist school teachers, counselors, and administrators after the death of a student, a student's family member, or a teacher. As a public service, MADD mailed the guide to every K-12 school in the United States.

In response to the growing number of youth gangs, there has been a proliferation of intervention and prevention programs that attempt to reduce gang-related activities among students. Schools have implemented a range of measures including targeting students who are vulnerable to gang recruitment for special assistance through peer counselors, support groups, mentoring, conflict resolution, and tutoring; educating all school staff on how gangs develop and how to respond to them; offering special programs for parents of gang members; monitoring youth who are not enrolled in school but who "hang out" on or near school property; offering education programs for students about gangs and their destructiveness; establishing and enforcing codes to prohibit the display of gang colors and the use of beepers or cellular phones; removing graffiti; expanding afterschool, weekend, and summer youth programs; and providing students with regular opportunities for individual and group discussions about their experiences in school.

Crime on College and University Campuses

Few issues affecting colleges and universities captured media attention more dramatically in the last decade than violent crime. Headlines of major newspapers across the country described violent incidents on campuses in California, Pennsylvania, Texas, Minnesota, Virginia, and Florida, among others. On a Florida campus, five students were murdered by a serial killer. On a Southern California campus, three students were sexually assaulted by a serial rapist. One observer wrote that widespread reports of campus violence "put to rest the long-cherished notion that colleges and universities are somehow cloistered enclaves-sanctuaries far removed from the threat of crime that haunts the rest of us."19

Campus violence civil litigation emerged in the mid-1980s as a relatively new and formidable legal strategy to address the problem of campus crime. Awards ranging from $50,000 to $2 million for victims of assault and rape have shaken universities, attracted Congressional and media attention, and forced schools to examine the quality of security they provide and their response after a crime occurs.

One tragic case that focused national attention on campus crime involved the torture, rape, and murder of 19-year-old Jeanne Ann Clery in her dormitory room at Lehigh University on April 5, 1986. Following the conviction and sentencing of the woman's murderer, also a university student, Howard and Connie Clery filed suit against the university for negligence in failing to take reasonable action to protect their daughter from foreseeable harm. The amount of the settlement was not made public, but the university agreed to improve security throughout the campus, particularly in dormitories. Following the settlement, the Clerys formed Security on Campus, Inc., an organization dedicated to bringing the problem of violent crime on college campuses to the attention of those who most need to know: applicants, students, faculty, and staff. Their crusade has had widespread results, including the passage of legislation in Pennsylvania in 1988 to address campus crime, followed by similar legislation in other states and at the federal level.

In the early 1990s, heightened concern about the safety of students on college campuses led to the passage of two federal laws: the Campus Security Act and the Campus Sexual Assault Victims Bill of Rights. The Campus Security Act, passed in 1990, requires that institutions publish and distribute an annual report describing security and law enforcement policies, crime prevention activities, procedures for reporting crimes on campus, and campus crime statistics. The Campus Sexual Assault Victims Bill of Rights, passed in 1991, requires institutions of higher education to develop and publish as part of their campus security report policies regarding the prevention and awareness of sex offenses and procedures for responding after a sex offense occurs. A key point in the statute is the clear responsibility assigned to university officials. They are required to inform students of their rights, provide them with clear information about how to report sex offenses, and ensure that students know about the medical, legal, and psychological assistance available to them if they become a victim. The Department of Education is responsible for the enforcement of both statutes. An institution's failure to comply could mean the loss of federal funds, including student loan money.

These federal laws raised public awareness of the prevalence and impact of crime on college campuses. Campus law enforcement officials report that colleges have increased resources for security and improved or clarified relationships with local police or sheriff's departments. In addition, many universities have developed or expanded crime victim assistance programs on campus and established more formal ties with off-campus victim assistance programs.

In Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida Police Department has established a Victim Services Unit that employs two full-time victim advocates. The advocates are available to the university community 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to provide programming and direct support for victims of crime.

In Ithaca, New York, Cornell University has established a victim advocacy program that provides free, confidential assistance to any member of the university community who has been the victim of a serious crime on or off campus. Its primary focus is to assist victims of assault, rape and other sex offenses, and bias-related crimes. The program functions through the Office of the University Ombudsman and works closely with local service agencies such as Ithaca Rape Crisis, the Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service, the Task Force for Battered Women, and the Child Sexual Abuse Project. In addition, the University requires all varsity student athletes to take a class on sexual assault.

In Los Angeles, the Women's Resource Center at UCLA provides free, confidential crisis counseling for sexual assault and domestic violence related issues to any UCLA student, regardless of when or where the assault occurred. Trained staff answer questions and refer students to the many services available to them. The center provides referrals to address a variety of resources in the community for medical, psychological, legal, and housing needs.

School and University Based Education About Victimization

Schools and universities have a unique role in helping all students, teachers, and staff understand and appreciate the rights and needs of victims of crimes. School-based instruction about victim issues will produce adults who are better informed about the needs of crime victims in their communities. A wide range of initiatives have been undertaken in recent years to educate students as well as faculty and staff.

With funding from OVC, the National Organization for Victim Assistance and the Education Development Center have developed a curriculum for young crime victims called "Healing Hearts/Mending Minds." The curriculum was developed to provide educators and adolescents themselves with tools and skills to help young victims heal.

The Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center has developed a sexual assault prevention education program for secondary schools that reaches more than 20,000 adolescents each year. The program's curriculum includes participatory exercises that enable students to practice effective communication and self-protection skills. The program also offers "private time" for students who wish to seek counseling for personal victimization experiences.

In 1996, OVC awarded Promising Strategies and Practices for Professional Education grants to two organizations. The Allegheny Research Institute in Pennsylvania received funding to conduct a national survey of professional schools' course offerings relevant to victims of crime. The Institute's findings revealed that professional education about crime victims' rights and services is offered in a limited number of schools. The second stage of the project was awarded to Victim Services, Inc., in New York to survey five states to determine if mandatory educational requirements about crime victims are included in the professional education of medicine, social work, psychology, and other allied professions. Based on the findings of both surveys, Victim Services is developing a multidisciplinary academic curriculum to educate practitioners who interact with crime victims.

Also with OVC funding, the Victim Assistance Legal Organization, in partnership with California State University-Fresno, and the Medical University of South Carolina, developed a college-level Victim Assistance Academy on victim's issues for advocates in the victim assistance field and allied professions. The Academy's rigorous 45-hour curriculum introduces students to the basic concepts of victims' rights and services and examines new developments in

the field. The curriculum, which is offered each year at several universities around the country simultaneously through distance learning technology, allows students to earn undergraduate credits from California State University-Fresno. The curriculum has been incorporated into numerous victimology courses and is used widely in state trainings.

Recognizing the critical role of professional education in preparing graduates to be a part of the state's strategy to reduce violence, abuse, and harassment, the Minnesota State Legislature earmarked funding in 1993 to establish the Higher Education Center Against Violence and Abuse. The center focuses on three areas: working with state and national organizations to develop higher education programs that prepare professionals to provide safety and services to victims of violence; conducting research projects to find ways to end violence; and serving as an international resource on violence and abuse issues to higher education institutions, community-based programs, and professional organizations.

A number of colleges and universities have begun to offer academic courses on victims' issues as part of their undergraduate curriculum. Courses range from topic specific areas such as family violence and child abuse to general courses on victimology and victims' rights.

In 1985, California State University-Fresno (CSUF) became the first university in the nation to develop and conduct a program of study in victim services. Today it offers an undergraduate degree in victimology, a graduate degree with a specialization in victimology, and a month-long summer institute on Victim Services. In 1999, in partnership with the University of California, CSUF will offer the nation's first doctorate program in victimology.

Several other academic institutions are offering unique programs. The University of New Haven in Connecticut offers a program in Victim Services Administration through its Center for the Study of Crime Victims' Rights, Resource, and Remedies. Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas offers a multidisciplinary Victim Assistance Program and in 1998 will provide an undergraduate degree in victim/survivor studies. Michigan State University, Southwestern Missouri State, and Florida State University also offer courses in victimology and victims' rights.

Other educational programs targeting specific professionals who work with crime victims-criminal justice, health, mental health, clergy, and the bar-are mentioned in separate sections of this report.

Prevention Strategies

The educational community has a responsibility to prevent crime and ensure the safety of students and school staff. As the 1982 President's Task Force recommended, school authorities should check the arrest and conviction records of anyone applying for work in a school who would have regular proximity to students for sexual assault, child molestation, or pornography offenses. This is now required by statute in 21 states.20

In addition, colleges must take basic measures to prevent victimization such as installing lighting and emergency phone systems, providing shuttle and evening escort services for students, locking dormitory doors, controlling access to buildings, and implementing crime watch programs and 24-hour security patrols.

The high risk of victimization for youth and perceptions that most violence is caused by youth have led many communities to mobilize youth to help prevent violence.

Teenagers in 40 states have participated in Teens, Crime, and the Community (TCC), a unique education and action program to educate teens about their risk of victimization and offer them strategies to make their lives and their communities safer. Created by the National Crime Prevention Council and funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the U.S. Department of Justice, TCC has worked with young people in more than 500 schools, community centers, and juvenile justice facilities since 1985. Examples of youth-led TCC projects are launching a child abuse prevention campaign, "adopting" younger classes to teach them about the dangers of alcohol and other drug abuse, and making presentations at local churches and civic organizations.

The Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation has developed a violence prevention curriculum called Rise Above It, which is taught by individuals paralyzed as a result of violent acts. The program's mission is to increase a student's ability to control violent behavior by helping them develop and practice creative alternatives to violence. The curriculum has been presented to 3,500 students in the Newark, New Jersey school system.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has initiated several programs to involve students in the fight against underage drinking and impaired driving-the cause of thousands of deaths and injuries among our nation's youth each year. In May 1997, one high school student from each of the 435 congressional districts was selected to attend MADD's National Youth Summit on Underage Drinking. During the 3-day event in Washington, D.C., the student delegates developed recommendations for preventing underage drinking and presented them to lawmakers. In another MADD initiative, Youth in Action, student-led teams across the country work to affect public policy, media, and law enforcement with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of traffic fatalities among young people by 25 percent within 5 years. MADD has also developed a Poster-essay contest for students in grades 1 through 12.

The U.S. Senate designated November 6, 1997, as a National Day of Concern About Young People and Gun Violence. On that day, students took part in activities across the country to raise awareness about youth gun violence, including a national campaign calling for students to sign a pledge that they will never carry a gun to school, never resolve a dispute with a gun, and try to use their influence with their friends to keep them from resolving disputes with guns. The day received support from organizations and elected officials nationwide, including the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the National PTA, the American Medical Association, and the National Council of Churches.

Campus Outreach Services was started by a student in 1990 after she was assaulted on her college campus. The organization brings speakers on date rape and sexual assault to colleges and high schools across the country. Speakers include survivors of sexual assault, sexual assault peer counselors, victims' rights experts, and victim advocates. The organization offers educational programs for resident advisors in dormitories, school counselors, administrators, peer educators, health center staffers, and student leaders. The program has also developed a guidebook entitled Sexual Assault on Campus: What Every College Student Should Know About Protecting Victims, Providing for Just Adjudication, and Complying with Federal Laws.

Recommendations From The Field For The Educational Community

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #1

Schools should establish comprehensive programs to assist students, faculty, and staff who are victimized by crime or who witness violence. These programs should be coordinated closely with local crime victim assistance programs and law enforcement agencies.

The creation of school-based victim service programs is proving to be an effective first step toward addressing victimization in schools. Comprehensive school-based initiatives should be implemented for all students in grades K-12, and they should respond to chronic trauma in everyday life as well as violent incidents-from schoolyard bullying to gun violence. To be comprehensive, victim assistance programs must include written protocols for handling cases, including reporting crimes to law enforcement, referring victims to medical and mental health treatment, and coordinating with local victim assistance agencies.

Each school should develop a victim assistance action plan that focuses on the immediate (1 to 4 days after the incident), intermediate (4 to 7 days after the incident), and long-term (7 days to several weeks and throughout various phases of the criminal justice system) needs of crime victims.21 In particular, crisis counseling services for youth victims and witnesses to violent crimes should be made available in school districts with gang problems. The integrated mediation and violence prevention programs developed by Victim Services, Inc., in New York City can serve as a model for schools in this effort. In addition, school-based victim service programs should involve families and the community in educational activities.

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #2

Schools should incorporate into their core curricula age-appropriate education about the impact of victimization, the availability of victim services, and victim rights information, including basic information about the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

School-based curricula should address a broad range of victim issues such as appropriate measures for intervention, the rights and services victims are entitled to receive, and information about how the criminal and juvenile justice systems operate. Schools should introduce students to issues related to family violence, child abuse, and incest at an early age, and they should teach them about specific types of crime victimization including sexual assault, drunk driving, family violence, gang violence, and hate and bias crimes. Schools should utilize victim impact panels and classes as important educational methods to educate students about victimization, and teachers should invite crime victims to give guest lectures in classes dealing with these issues.

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #3

Crime prevention strategies should be taught to students in every grade, beginning in preschool, and schools should involve youth as peer educators about victimization and crime prevention.

School-based education and prevention programs dealing with crime should be available to all preschool and school-age children. Government, the private sector, and the media should support innovative campaigns to inform parents and teachers about steps they can take to prevent children from becoming victims of crime. Moreover, teens are an enormous pool of untapped energy, talent, and enthusiasm. They should be involved as peer educators to teach younger children about crime prevention and victimization. For example, Victim Services, Inc., has developed a program called "Generation NeXt" to provide a vehicle for young people to learn leadership skills to prevent violence in their homes, schools, and communities. The program trains young people to be peer educators on conflict resolution, victim assistance, and multicultural communication.

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #4

Schools should implement procedures to help identify missing and exploited children who may be enrolled in their educational systems.

Each year, missing and abducted children are enrolled in schools around the country, many by parental abductors. Schools should require that the names of new student enrollments be forwarded to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and state clearinghouses that keep records of missing children.

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #5

Age-appropriate sexual assault and dating violence awareness and prevention programs should be a required component of school curricula. Schools should work with law enforcement agencies and rape crisis centers to develop strategies for preventing sexual violence and for assisting victims of such crimes.

According to a 1992 study, 61 percent of American rape victims were victimized before the age of 18, and 29 percent of forcible rapes occurred when the victim was less than 11 years old. Moreover, 84 percent of rape victims never report the crime to the police.22 Sexual assault education for America's youth should be targeted to preteen adolescent girls and boys and should stress the importance of reporting sexual incidents to a teacher, trusted adult, or victim service agency.

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #6

Colleges and universities should establish comprehensive programs to assist students, faculty members, and staff who are victimized by crime. These programs should be coordinated closely with local crime victim assistance programs.

Comprehensive services should be available to all campus victims. Campus law enforcement should be informed of every victimization reported by students, as should local law enforcement agencies. Responses to victimized students should be guided by written protocol, which must include, at a minimum, procedures for referring victims to local victim assistance, health care, and mental health providers and law enforcement agencies. The protocol should also address immediate, intermediate, and long-term responses.

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #7

Colleges and universities should offer interdisciplinary credit courses on victim issues and rights in departments that train professionals who interact with crime victims. Victim issues should

also be incorporated into professional licensing exams.

The following departments should offer at least one interdisciplinary course in victims issues: criminal justice, law, psychology, social work, health care, theology, education, and business. Additional specialized courses may include crimes against women, hate and bias crimes, child victimization, elder victimization, domestic violence, homicide, and drunk driving. Professions requiring licensing or certification should include victim issues in their professional exams. In addition, colleges and universities should develop degree programs that focus on victim issues, and they should encourage students to conduct research in this area.

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #8

All college and university campuses should adopt sexual assault and dating violence protocol that include clear definitions of proscribed conduct. These policies should be disseminated to all students, campus staff, and faculty. Campus staff and faculty should be trained in procedures for responding to students who have been sexually assaulted.

Every college and university should develop, print, and distribute a clear institutional policy against sexual assault to inform current and prospective students, faculty, and staff that these crimes will not be tolerated on campus. Policies should include definitions of sexual assault and dating violence, data on the prevalence of these crimes on campus, relevant provisions of the code of student conduct, and a description of the school's prevention strategies and victim assistance resources.

Colleges should periodically review and update their protocol as new crimes emerge. For example, the Drug Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act was signed into law in October 1996 as a result of an alarming rise in the use of "rape drugs" on college campuses.23 The law makes it a federal crime to distribute a controlled substance to an individual without that individual's knowledge and with the intent to commit a crime of violence, including rape. In August 1997, Attorney General Janet Reno joined the Rape Treatment Center (RTC) at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center in launching a national effort to warn college students of the dangers of two new drugs, Rohypnol and GHB, that sexual predators use to incapacitate their victims before assaulting them. The prevention campaign is supported by a broad partnership of victim advocates, prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, and the private sector, which has produced educational materials and public service announcements about the dangers of the drugs for national dissemination. All colleges should widely distribute information about "rape drugs" and the new federal legislation.

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #9

All school districts, colleges and universities should design and implement a standardized system for documenting, analyzing, and reporting crimes to law enforcement.

Schools and universities around the nation vary widely in how they collect data on incidents of student violence and discipline and whether or not they report to law enforcement. Without accurate and consistent data, it is difficult for educators to draw conclusions about the impact of violence prevention programs in their schools.24 Increasing numbers of schools are recognizing the benefits of accurate data collection and some have used new technologies to assist in this process. For example, in Virginia, the Norfolk Public School District's School Management and Resource Teams program, funded by a joint grant from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, includes a simple-to-use, computerized system that is used in each of Norfolk's schools to collect data on the nature and location of violations. Student names are not included to protect victims' identity.

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #10

Schools, colleges and universities should develop specialized education and training programs for faculty, administrators, and staff on crime victim issues.

Although many school teachers, college faculty, and other staff frequently face issues of crime and violence, most lack the training, skills, and resources to address these sensitive issues. When a student or coworker is victimized, many educators find themselves feeling overwhelmed and unprepared to respond appropriately. Education about victims' rights and services should be an integral part of training for all school and university staff. Education should be interdisciplinary and inform future educators about effective team approaches to handling victims and offenders. In addition, all educators should receive ongoing inservice training on these issues.

Campus administrators, faculty, board members, resident advisors, campus security and police, and university mental health center staff should also receive training on victim issues. Information about specific crimes such as sexual assault, drunk driving, dating violence, gang violence, and hate and bias crimes should be included in both academic and training curricula.

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #11

Victims should have certain rights in disciplinary hearings involving crimes in schools and on college campuses. These rights should include the right to notice of the hearing, the right to be accompanied to the hearing by a person of their choice, the right to give a victim impact statement before a penalty is assessed, and the right to be informed of the outcome of the hearing. In addition, victims should be protected from irrelevant questions about their past sexual history.

School and university disciplinary hearing procedures are set forth in codes regulating student conduct and generally constitute an informal trial before a panel of faculty or student representatives. To encourage the reporting of crimes and to ensure fairness to victims throughout the disciplinary process, schools and colleges should include in student codes a statement of the rights of victims during disciplinary proceedings conducted by the college or university.25 Similarly, state education codes should be revised to establish rights and protections for students who are victimized in their schools. (The rights of victims' in administrative proceedings are discussed in more detail in Chapter 1.) When administratively handled cases are not referred to local law enforcement agencies, the victim should be informed of the reason.

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #12

School and college campuses should develop crisis response protocols so that they are prepared to respond to major incidents of violence.

A growing number of communities and institutions are developing crisis response capabilities to respond to incidents of violent crime. Since 1987, the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) has coordinated a National Crisis Response Team Training Institute, which trains service providers in community crisis response. NOVA, with funding from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education, is currently developing a training program for school-based personnel on effective responses to incidents of violence and serious victimization. Every school and college campus should develop this crisis response capability to ensure that victims receive appropriate services in the aftermath of violence.

Educational Community Recommendation from the Field #13

School and university libraries should incorporate resources on victim rights, victim services, and violence prevention into their collections and information displays.

School and university libraries provide critical information to students, teachers, and staff, and they should create specialized sections and coding systems dedicated to publications on victim issues. Libraries can play an important role in publicizing victim assistance and crime prevention information. For example, libraries can provide a public service by displaying posters with the toll-free phone numbers of national organizations that assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and drunk driving. In addition, school libraries should post listings of local victim service organizations in a highly visible location.


1 Bastian, L., and B.Taylor, School Crime: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report, Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, 1991, NCJ 131645.

2 Nolin, M. J. and E. Davies, Student Victimization At School, Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, October 1995. (Http://, September 29, 1997.)

3 Wheeler, E. and S.A. Baron, Violence in Our Schools, Hospitals and Public Places: A Prevention and Management Guide, California, Pathfinder Publishing, 1993:105.

4 Id.

5 Id.

6 Stephens, R., G. Butterfield, J. Arnette, and B. James, Student and Staff Victimization NSSC Resource Paper, Malibu, CA: National School Safety Center, March 1996.

7 National School Safety Center News Service, "School Crime and Violence Prevention -- Parents Make a Difference," School Safety Update, Westlake Village: National School Safety Center News Service, September 1993.

8 Stephens, Student and Staff Victimization NSSC Resource Paper.

9 Edsall, T., "Mississippi Boy Held in School Killing Spree," The Washington Post, October 2, 1997, A3.

10 Lal, S., "Gangs: From Social Groups to Violent Delinquents" in Schwartz, W. (Ed), Preventing Youth Violence in Urban Schools: An Essay Collection, 1996. (Http://

11 Needle, A., and W.V. Stapleton, Police Handling of Youth Gangs: Reports of the National Juvenile Assessment Centers, Sacramento, CA: American Justice Institute, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1983.

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