Essay: Violence in schools

Payne, Brian K. School violence prevention measures: School officials’ attitudes about various strategies [online]. Journal of Criminal Justice Volume 36, Issue 4, August 2008, Pages 301’306

In the article, journal of criminal justice by Brian K. Payne (2008, p Pages 301’306) he states that there is a concerning rise of violence in the recent year. The concern has risen due to numerous incidents occurring in the past and are continuing to rise. They have currently three prevention remedies to stop school violence occurring. The three are physical, interactionist and legal. Physical remedies are structural changes which can limit the amount of violence in the school area. (Bennett-Johnson, 2004; Kenny & Watson, 1998; May, 2004, p 301). Some examples of structural change that would reduce the amount of violence would be adding of metal detectors, alarms and open floor plans. (Easterbrook, 1999; Thompkins, 2000, p 301). Interactionist remedy includes the teacher communicating to the student openly to prevent school violence. If teachers can find out of any violent activity that is occurring from a student they can then stop it before it happens. (Bennett-Johnson, 2004; Coleman, 2002; Easterbrook, 1999; Green, 2005; Hotvedt, 2001; Jones, 2001; May, 2004; Sexton-Radek, 2005, p 301). Legal remedies include what the staff can do to prevent the violence with suspicion a staff member is allowed to search without a warrant. Staff can do this to uphold the schools safety. This was decided by U.S. Supreme court. (Brian K. Payne 2008, p 302). To help increase the success rates of strategies a survey was sent out to 310 schools in Virginia. It included 28 items which were split up into different sections. Section one outlined the characteristics of each person. Table 1 lets us know that 76.1 percent were males and 23.9 percent were females. It also told us that knives were the most common weapon brought by a student to school. (Table 1, sample demographics; Brian K. Payne 2008, p 303) Section two showed us how useful each technique was. Student tips was the most useful in finding weapons. Anonymous tips were rated second highest. (Table 2, Perceptions about the usefulness of various search strategies; (Brian K. Payne 2008, p 303). Section three explained what they thought was an appropriate measure that should be taken. 95 percent agreed with suspicion the appropriate action would be to search the student. (Table 3, Beliefs about reasonable suspicion and other search issues; Brian K. Payne 2008, p 303). Table four helps us see if there were any differences between gender and race when determining their view of searches in schools. The table showed similar responses for both race and gender. (Table 4, Demographic characteristics by agreement with statements about school searches; Brian K. Payne 2008, p 304). Table five showed us that that there were no real differences of gender and race when seizing drugs and weapons. ‘The people who thought threats were a useful deterrent rated metal detectors higher than those who did not’ (Brian K. Payne 2008, p 305). The most useful strategy was the student tips. (Table 5, Experiential factors and perceptions of prevention strategies by demographics; Brian K. Payne 2008, p 304-305).

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