ArticleLiterature Review

Impacts of Metal Detector Use in Schools: Insights From 15 Years of Research*

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Abstract

Multiple approaches exist, both in theory and in practice, to reduce young people's risk of violent victimization when they are in school. Among these approaches, a growing number of school districts are choosing to install metal detectors. We sought to review the literature available on the impacts of metal detectors on school violence and perceptions about school violence. We conducted an extensive literature search, including databases for the medical, public health, sociology, and political science literature. Of 128 papers that met our search criteria, 7 studies met inclusion criteria for the literature review. Each of the papers reviewed utilized data that originated from self-report surveys. Four of the studies consisted of secondary analyses of national databases, with the other 3 utilizing local surveys. The studies varied as to the outcome, ranging from student/staff perceptions of safety at school to student self-reports of weapon carrying and/or victimization, and showed mixed results. Several studies suggested potential detrimental effects of metal detectors on student perceptions of safety. One study showed a significant beneficial effect, linking metal detector use to a decrease in the likelihood that students reported carrying a weapon while in school (7.8% vs 13.8%), without a change in weapon carrying in other settings or a decline in participation in physical fights. There is insufficient data in the literature to determine whether the presence of metal detectors in schools reduces the risk of violent behavior among students, and some research suggests that the presence of metal detectors may detrimentally impact student perceptions of safety.

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... The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that between the years of July 1, 1992, to June 30, 2000, school children "were at least 70 times more likely to be murdered away from school than at school" (National Center for Education Statistics, 2003). The CDC (as cited in Hankin et al., 2011) reported that approximately 2,500 school children between the ages of 10 and 19 are victims of homicides a year; the School Associated Violent Death (SAVD) study estimated that of the 2,500, about 1% ...
... In 1988 However, prior to police arrival, school officials are the first responders and need to be prepared to deal with the circumstances at hand (Tonn, 2005). Throughout the United States there are 114,000 schools with 50 million students and 6 million schoolteachers; all will have some involvement in school violence (Hankin et al., 2011). ...
... It is not only students and faculty with whose safety the school principal must be concerned; on any given school day one out of five American citizens will be in a school (Hankin et al., 2011 Schools need to focus on preventive measures of school safety that address the issues of bullying, harassment, and assaults that are indicators of troubled students and can be addressed to prevent a school shooting (Trotter, 2005). Teachers have indicated, "Student disruption, tardiness, lack of attention, disrespect, bullying and violence can ruin a healthy learning environment that teachers depend on to effectively do their job" (Liu, 2007, p. 2). ...
... Structural school safety measures, including metal detectors, access control systems, cameras, and closed circuit television systems have been adopted broadly in schools (Addington, 2009;Garcia, 2003;Hankin et al., 2011;National Center for Education Statistics, 2014. Public support for school safety has been high in light of media attention to recent school shootings (Borum et al., 2010;Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2014;Kupchik et al., 2015). ...
... Public support for school safety has been high in light of media attention to recent school shootings (Borum et al., 2010;Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2014;Kupchik et al., 2015). However, some studies suggest that incorporation of safety measures, such as metal detectors and cameras, may adversely impact student-perceived safety and student misbehavior (Hankin et al., 2011;Servoss, 2014). The trans-disciplinary nature of this topic has resulted in published evaluations scattered across the educational, school health, public health, and criminological literature bases (Fisher and Hennessy, 2015;Hankin et al., 2011;Jennings et al., 2011;Maskaly et al., 2011). ...
... However, some studies suggest that incorporation of safety measures, such as metal detectors and cameras, may adversely impact student-perceived safety and student misbehavior (Hankin et al., 2011;Servoss, 2014). The trans-disciplinary nature of this topic has resulted in published evaluations scattered across the educational, school health, public health, and criminological literature bases (Fisher and Hennessy, 2015;Hankin et al., 2011;Jennings et al., 2011;Maskaly et al., 2011). The diverse array of publication outlets inhibits comprehensive syntheses and dissemination of the broad impact that school safety measures have on students' school-related delinquent behavior and perceived safety. ...
Article
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of school safety measures, including SROs and safety personnel, on school-related delinquency and perceived safety. Design/methodology/approach Specifically, a comprehensive search of the literature was performed to identify studies published between January 1, 1998 and July 1, 2016 that focussed on structural school safety measures such as metal detectors, cameras, closed circuit television systems, and access control measures and/or school resource officers in primary and secondary schools. Only studies that relied on randomized controlled trials and pre-test/post-test designs evaluating the impact of at least one school safety measure in reference to a control condition were eligible for inclusion. Findings The results of this exhaustive search revealed 32 unique study samples that met the inclusion criteria. Results from the studies suggest that implementation of more security measures may not be an effective policy. More safety measures often result in a decline of student-perceived safety. Study limitations and directions for future research are also discussed. Originality/value Results from this meta-review can provide educational administrators, superintendents, and school safety policymakers with a synthesis of only the most rigorous and valid studies that evaluate the impact of school safety measures on both actual and perceived school-related delinquency and safety. This information will provide school safety decision makers with a state-of-the-art synthesis of how school safety measures impact school-related delinquency problems and safety, and which measures appear to be most effective for informing the allocation of scarce resources.
... For example, in states with more permissive gun laws and higher rates of gun ownership, schools may engage teachers to implement firearm safety education efforts among their students (Obeng, 2010) and support school nurses to communicate effectively with parents about gun safety and storage practices (Selekman et al., 2019). To date, many K-12 schools have chosen to respond to the anticipation of intentional gun violence by implementing various reactive strategies such as installing security cameras and metal detectors, implementing locker and student searches, and arming teachers (Borum et al., 2010;Hankin et al., 2011;Rajan & Branas, 2018;Tanner-Smith & Fisher, 2016). These strategies have limited empirical support for prevention and may even weaken, rather than improve, a school's learning environment (Hankin et al., 2011;Tanner-Smith & Fisher, 2016). ...
... To date, many K-12 schools have chosen to respond to the anticipation of intentional gun violence by implementing various reactive strategies such as installing security cameras and metal detectors, implementing locker and student searches, and arming teachers (Borum et al., 2010;Hankin et al., 2011;Rajan & Branas, 2018;Tanner-Smith & Fisher, 2016). These strategies have limited empirical support for prevention and may even weaken, rather than improve, a school's learning environment (Hankin et al., 2011;Tanner-Smith & Fisher, 2016). By encouraging school districts to focus on efforts such as student firearm safety education, safe gun storage promotion among parents, and advocating for specific policies that decrease the presence of firearms in schools, school districts may be able to reduce the likelihood of shootings within their schools while avoiding further harm to school climate. ...
Article
Limited research has been conducted on the state-level factors that may be associated with intentional school shootings. We obtained school shooting data from the Washington Post that identified any act of intentional interpersonal gunfire in a K-12 school over the course of two decades. We also compiled new data on active school shootings during the same twenty-year time period, which identified any attempted mass shooting incident in a K-12 school. We conducted a time-series analysis to measure the association of permissiveness of state firearm laws and state gun ownership with K-12 school shootings and active shootings. More permissive firearm laws and higher rates of gun ownership were associated with higher rates of both school shootings and active school shootings after controlling for critical covariates. Specific recommendations for K-12 schools to consider as they seek to prevent acts of intentional gunfire on school grounds are presented.
... Two other visible security measures that have had limited examination of their success are metal detectors and random locker searches. A comprehensive review of efficacy of metal detector use in schools found mixed results (ranging from reduction in weapon carrying to school to greater concerns about safety and increase in students' perceptions of higher school disorder) (Hankin et al. 2011). One of the most successful studies reported that there was reduced carrying of weapons in New York City public schools when metal detectors were present compared with schools without metal detectors (78% compared with 14%). ...
... Youth's fourth amendment rights of protection from unreasonable searches and seizures by the state are worthy of consideration as they relate to creating a negative school climate. The majority of secondary students in some studies are not in favor of intrusive metal detector searches (Brown 2006;Hankin et al. 2011;Tanner-Smith et al. 2018). Similar challenges can be faced in courts by schools for any measures that appear to be intrusive and are considered visible security measures (Wike and Fraser 2009;Yell and Rozalski 2000). ...
Article
Firearm injuries are the third leading cause of death for youths (14% of all deaths of youths 1-19 years of age). In 2016, there were 3,155 firearm deaths of youths less than 19 years of age. Recently, school firearm violence and school shootings have received increasing attention from school personnel, policymakers, and in the mass media. However, little is known about prevention and reduction of school firearm violence. The purpose of this narrative review is to describe the current practices regarding school firearm violence prevention and uses the disease prevention and health promotion framework to describe current practices and policies on school firearm violence prevention measures. A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted from the years 2000 to 2018 to search for school-based practices to reduce firearm violence. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to harden schools. None of the currently employed school firearm violence prevention methods have empirical evidence to show they actually diminish firearm violence in schools. To the extent that schools adopt ineffective firearm violence prevention measures they are creating a false sense of security. School systems need to engage in collaborative research for evidence-based practices and policy advocacy through coalition building to address state firearm laws. Schools also need to expand their mental health services and cost-effective educational interventions for reducing violence (e.g. bullying, peer mediation, conflict resolution, etc.). Hardening of schools seems to be a questionable endeavor for most schools given the dearth of evidence regarding effectiveness.
... Moreover, this finding supports results from previous studies suggesting that students in schools with metal detectors tend to feel less safe than students at schools without such security measures (e.g., Gastic, 2011;Hankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2011). ...
... In support of this notion, a study by Booren, Handy, and Power (2011) found that perceptions of school climate and violence were associated with safety strategies, and higher ratings of school climate and connection predicted a safer and more civil school learning environment. Further, as previously discussed, some studies have found that fear associated with visible security measures may attenuate students' feelings of positivity and warmth while negatively impacting school climate (Gastic, 2011;Hankin et al., 2011;NASP, 2013;Perumean-Chaney & Sutton, 2013;Schreck & Miller, 2003). Considering such findings, future investigations could help with understanding specific architectural features that contribute to a safe and welcoming school environment. ...
Article
In response to tragic school shootings, heightened attention has been devoted to making schools safer through the implementation of security features. However, excessive security measures have a negative impact on school climate, student functioning, and academic achievement. Therefore, there is a critical need to design schools that are safe and secure, yet also welcoming and comfortable. As a promising approach in this regard, crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) is an architectural philosophy that aims to deter criminal or antisocial behavior through environmental design, and it includes a focus on natural surveillance, access control, and territorial reinforcement. This review discusses pertinent effects of the school environment on student outcomes, extant research on the impact of visible security measures, the relationship between students’ perceptions of safety and academic functioning, and how using CPTED could concomitantly address the physical safety and psychological comfort of students at school.
... Students who reported belonging to minimum security schools had lower levels of perceived safety. This result contradicts findings of several previous studies indicating that the presence of more visible security measures is linked to students feeling less safe and increased perception of school disorder (Hankin, Hertz and Simon, 2011;Mayer and Leone, 1999). It is possible that the presence of visible security measures makes students feel more secure, regardless of the actual safety levels at their school. ...
Article
ABATRACT Many U.S. schools attempt to create safe learning environments by implementing visible security measures such as cameras, metal detectors, and security personnel. This study explored utilization patterns of visible security measures and several associated predictors. Data included school administrator and student responses from multiple waves of two nationally representative surveys. Three latent classes of visible security measures were identified. Membership in the heaviest security latent class was most likely among large urban high schools in the South and was associated with student race/ethnicity and school disorder. Implications for research on effectiveness of visible security measures are discussed.
... The results are mixed on whether or not school resource officers reduce the risk of violence but there is evidence to suggest that the presence of school resource officers may serve as a deterrent for school violence (Jennings et al., 2011). In terms of the effects of metal detectors, Hankin et al. (2011) reviewed literature which indicated insufficient data to determine if the presence of metal detectors in schools reduced the risk of violent behavior but found that it did help students perception of whether their school was safe or not. ...
Chapter
This chapter sets forth to examine the different forms of violence that are present within U.S. school systems along with the general response to these acts. Acts of institutional and personal violence will be discussed along with the potential harm that each act presents. While institutional violence often goes ignored, the impact of these acts can have a substantial negative influence on the life and future career of children. Alternatively, instances of personal violence frequently receive substantial media attention while also causing high levels of fear among the American public regarding the safety of our schools. The most publicized and heinous type of personal violence that has transpired within school settings is events involving an active shooter(s). In addition to identifying the various types of violence, suggestions for improvement and preparedness are offered to reduce the prevalence of violence within schools.
... The results are mixed on whether or not school resource officers reduce the risk of violence but there is evidence to suggest that the presence of school resource officers may serve as a deterrent for school violence (Jennings et al., 2011). In terms of the effects of metal detectors, Hankin et al. (2011) reviewed literature which indicated insufficient data to determine if the presence of metal detectors in schools reduced the risk of violent behavior but found that it did help students perception of whether their school was safe or not. ...
Chapter
This chapter sets forth to examine the different forms of violence that are present within U.S. school systems along with the general response to these acts. Acts of institutional and personal violence will be discussed along with the potential harm that each act presents. While institutional violence often goes ignored, the impact of these acts can have a substantial negative influence on the life and future career of children. Alternatively, instances of personal violence frequently receive substantial media attention while also causing high levels of fear among the American public regarding the safety of our schools. The most publicized and heinous type of personal violence that has transpired within school settings is events involving an active shooter(s). In addition to identifying the various types of violence, suggestions for improvement and preparedness are offered to reduce the prevalence of violence within schools.
... 28 Research on the effects of using metal detectors on school premises to reduce crime rates shows that the effects are ambiguous. Metal detectors do reduce the likelihood that students bring a weapon to school, but they don't necessarily reduce the prevalence of threat or violence nor the likelihood of students carrying a weapon in other settings (Hankin, Hertz, and Simon, 2011). Therefore, even on school premises, cell phones could be necessary for safety purposes. ...
Article
Purpose – Since Baumol (1990), the economic literature has distinguished between two broad categories of entrepreneurship: productive and unproductive. The purpose of this paper is to introduce another subcategory: indirectly productive entrepreneurship. Sometimes, profit-seeking entrepreneurs allocate their talents to indirectly productive activities to mitigate the new costs market participants endure as a result of a government regulation. The resources used to mitigate these costs must be diverted from other uses. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses the example of cell phone storage outside New York City’s high schools to illustrate an indirectly productive entrepreneurial activity that mitigates the inefficiencies or costs created by a regulation. These costs and the resulting entrepreneurship would not have arisen absent the regulation. Findings – These profit opportunities do not result from market entrepreneurial errors or successes but emerge from inefficiencies or unintended consequences produced by government regulations. When evaluating such entrepreneurship, the question is whether such regulation is desirable from an efficiency viewpoint because such entrepreneurship, while making such regulation less inefficient or less costly, diverts resources from other lines of production. Originality/value – This paper identifies a new category of entrepreneurship: indirectly productive entrepreneurship. This paper also shows that government regulation often deters productive entrepreneurship. However, under some circumstances, regulation can indirectly encourage productive entrepreneurship by creating artificial profit opportunities that would not have existed otherwise.
... Metal detectors, due to their obvious nature as a school security measure, may be the exception; Tillyer et al. (2011) found that fear of serious violence was reduced in schools with metal detectors. In their systematic review of the use of metal detectors, however, Hankin, Hertz, and Simon (2011) suggest that no firm conclusions can be made about their efficacy. The current study did not collect data on metal detectors, as they were very rarely used in the state, and very few schools even had access to a metal detector, but this is far from an answered question that should be examined in more depth. ...
Article
Research on students’ perceptions of fear in school settings has proliferated, specifically as recent school shootings and the media blitz surrounding these events contribute to student and administrator concern. Inquiries into the topic suggest that many of the security protocols utilized by schools, such as target hardening approaches, may have a negative impact on student experiences and increase fear. However, in light of the massive social change experienced by today’s students, through the form of both high-profile school shootings and increased security after 9/11, more recent data are needed to better understand what drives student perceptions. This study explores the role of individual- and school-level predictors of perceptions of student safety. Results suggest that students who are aware of more security measures report higher odds of feeling safe at school. Differences also exist by gender and age. Implications for school security protocols and future research are discussed.
... One major consequence is that school authorities have diverted billions of dollars from their school budgets to institute new security measures such as metal detectors, alarm systems, surveillance cameras, remodeled building entrances, and electronic door locks (Linskey 2013;Sheriff 2015). Multiple studies have concluded that security measures such as metal detectors do not increase school safety and, on the contrary, make students feel less safe at school (Bachman, Randolph, and Brown 2011;Gastic 2011;Hankin, Hertz, and Simon 2011). ...
Chapter
Although schools have a relatively low rate of violent crime in comparison to other settings, concerns about school shootings have stimulated increased school security and use of zero tolerance discipline. Threat assessment is a more proactive and flexible violence prevention practice that is used when an individual threatens to commit a violent act or engages in threatening behavior. Threat assessment includes the identification, assessment, and management of threats with the goal of resolving conflicts or problems before they escalate into violence. A widely used example of threat assessment is the Virginia Student Threat Assessment Guidelines, which allows school‐based teams to follow a decision‐tree process to resolve less serious, transient threats quickly while focusing greater attention on more serious, substantive threats. Controlled studies show that this approach leads to fewer suspensions and school placement changes as well as more positive assessments of school climate and safety by school staff and students.
... These security procedures include security cameras, locked entrances, metal detectors or locker checks (Morgan et al. 2015). Studies that examine the effectiveness of school based security practices do not consistently show improved school safety (Gerlinger & Wo 2014;Fisher forthcoming), with mixed evidence on the effectiveness of security personnel such as SROs (Na & Author, 2011;Jennings et al. 2011;Johnson 1999), metal detectors (Hankin et al. 2011), and surveillance cameras (Schreck et al. ...
Article
Despite existing efforts to prevent bullying, research suggests that bullying remains a serious and common problem across the United States. Therefore, researchers should continuously propose and evaluate alternative policies that may mitigate bullying as a social issue. One such strategy that has been proposed is the use of police officers in schools, best known as School Resource Officers (SROs). The current study evaluated the efficacy of SROs as an intervention against bullying in schools in the United States. Using a longitudinal sample consisting of three years of data from the School Survey on Crime and Safety (n = 480), schools that initiated, discontinued, and continued their use of SROs from one time point to another were compared to a control group of schools. The findings indicate that SROs do not have an effect on bullying in schools. Policy implications of these findings suggest that programs that focus on components such as teaching social and emotional competency skills, improving relationships between students and adults, and creating a positive school environment may be more effective in reducing bullying than a security procedure such as the use of SROs. Alternative programs should be explored to mitigate bullying and improve the well-being of students.
... The use of technological innovation in the crime prevention could be implemented on the hard or soft technology. Hard technology includes the use of materials or equipment's that can be used to prevent crime such as CCTV cameras [5] [6] and metal detector [7]. Soft technologies are used to prevent crime by utilizing information generated by software as well as the latest techniques in computer data processing, for example, geographic information system [8] [9] [10]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The rate of crime incidence in Indonesia is quite high. Some efforts to prevent crime and to create community safety have been already conducted. However, the information technology has not been implemented yet. CrimeID could be a technology tool for both individual and collective crime prevention. The citizen could participate individually as a crowd to annotate the crime data from news article through the crowdsourcing platform using gamification concept. The collected data could be used to raise the awareness among community members of the crime that happens surrounding them by using the location-aware system.
... measures in reducing school crime and student victimization, with most studies showing ineffective or inconclusive results (Devlin & Gottfredson, 2016;Fisher, Higgins, & Homer, 2019;Gonzalez, Jetelina, & Jennings, 2016;Hankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2010;Jennings, Khey, Maskaly, & Donner, 2011;Monahan & Torres, 2010;Na & Gottfredson, 2013;Price & Khubchandani, 2019;Tanner-Smith, Fisher, Addington, & Gardella, 2018). ...
Article
Important aspects of the school context include the presence of physical security measures, especially those that focus on the monitoring and control of students such as security guards and security cameras, and social school environment factors, such as adult support and perceived fairness. Using data from the 2015 National Crime Victimization Survey – School Crime Supplement, the current study explored the relationships between school security measures in schools, school social environment factors, and student fear of crime and avoidance behavior. The results indicate that the school security measures and school social environment are associated with students’ fear of crime and avoidance, and they suggest that schools need to reconsider the use of security measures and to focus on fair development and implementation of school rules instead.
... The development of categorical and dimensional approaches to better understand a particular phenomenon is not unique to the field of SA/A; indeed, such bifurcation is a common aspect of the study of many different child behavior problems such as anxiety and mood disorders, developmental disorders, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity and conduct disorders (Hankin et al., 2011;Ghio et al., 2015;Wakschlag et al., 2015;Elton et al., 2016;Sprafkin et al., 2016). A key task moving forward will be to draw from the validity of all approaches to design a framework for SA/A that can facilitate the promotion of school attendance, nimble responses to emerging school absenteeism, effective policy review across jurisdictions, wide dissemination to various locations and settings, and adaptation to future, rapid changes in education and technology. ...
Article
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As noted in Part 1 of this two-part review, school attendance is an important foundational competency for children and adolescents, and school absenteeism has been linked to myriad short- and long-term negative consequences, even into adulthood. Categorical and dimensional approaches for this population have been developed. This article (Part 2 of a two-part review) discusses compatibilities of categorical and dimensional approaches for school attendance and school absenteeism and how these approaches can inform one another. The article also poses a multidimensional multi-tiered system of supports pyramid model as a mechanism for reconciling these approaches, promoting school attendance (and/or prevention of school absenteeism), establishing early warning systems for nimble response to school attendance problems, assisting with global policy review and dissemination and implementation, and adapting to future changes in education and technology.
... Although most interventions are well-meaning, not all well-meaning interventions are effective. For example, metal detectors have been widely introduced in schools as a means of deterring serious antisocial behavior, yet empirical reviews suggest that they are ineffective and possibly detrimental for reducing aggression in schools (Hankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2011). Distinguishing interventions that have insufficient evidence on which to draw conclusions from interventions that have been shown to be ineffective would help educational professionals make better evidencebased decisions about interventions (Waschbusch, Fabiano, & Pelham, 2012). ...
Article
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Aggressive and defiant behaviors in students are costly to schools, teachers, and students. In this paper, we summarize findings from meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and meta-reviews that examined school-based interventions for aggressive and defiant behaviors in students. Results of the review suggest that school-based interventions produce significant but small positive effects on aggression and defiance, with larger effects for interventions that are implemented with higher quality. Behavioral and cognitive behavioral techniques are key components of nearly all effective school interventions, whether interventions are student-directed or teacher-/environment-directed. Specific interventions with empirical support, as identified using the Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development and “What Works Clearinghouse” databases, are briefly summarized. Finally, recommendations are made for schools considering a school intervention for aggression and defiance, and important priorities for future research are outlined.
... Закључак до којег су дошли односи се на директну корелацију између појачаних мера безбедности и повећања стопе насилног криминала у школама, док постоје минималне разлике између школа са другачијом врстом обезбеђења. Осим тога, постоје и ставови према којима постојеће мере безбедности компромитују психолошку безбедност ученика те се тако доводе у везу са озбиљним насилним инцидентима у васпитно-образовним установама (Garver & Noguera, 2012;Hankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2011;Perumean-Chaney & Sutton, 2012). У сличном маниру, Мајер и Леон (Mayer & Leone) наводе како су покушаји рестриктивне контроле школских просторија (попут уградње метал-детектора, закључавања брава, обезбеђења и патролирања школског особља) резултирали, између осталог, и великим степеном различитих поремећаја у школској средини (1999). ...
Article
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Bullying, as an ubiquitous security and social phenomenon, produces certain consequences for the development of each individual who is touched by this phenomenon, whether it is a violent, a victim or an observer. This issue is a common problem for both educational actors and the wider community in which bulling has been manifested. Therefore, all relevant subjects of the academic, expert and civil public participate in the response to this issue. The main goal of this paper is the presentation of academically based research on bullying and the key theoretical approaches that contribute to the development of a systematic framework for actions towards this issue as well. In addition, concrete mechanisms for preventing bullying in educational institutions are of great importance. Hence, the successful prevention of bullying or, in addition, its minimization requires the existence of a strategy at the national level as well as the systematic implementation of adequate prevention programs in educational institutions in order to create a safe school environment on the basis of mutual respect, tolerance and constructive communication.
... They also did not directly address school bullying , which is far more common than incidents involving weapons and can be related to serious school violence (Bowers, Holmes, & Rhom, 2009; Fox & Levin, 2003; Vossekuil, 2002). Moreover, security measures compromise psychological safety as they increase students' fears and anxieties (Garver & Noguera, 2012; Hankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2011; Juvonen, 2001; PerumeanChaney & Sutton, 2012). The presence of these security measures could have adverse effects on school climate (Hirschfield, 2010). ...
Article
A common response to school violence features the use of security measures to deter serious and violent incidents. However, a second approach, based on school climate theory, suggests that schools exhibiting authoritative school discipline (i.e., high structure and support) might more effectively reduce school disorder. We tested these approaches on less serious, but more frequent, incidents of student victimization—physical, verbal, and relational bullying—using a nationally representative sample of 12- to 18-year-olds. We found that students in schools with positive school climates, as based on authoritative discipline theory, were significantly less likely to report bullying victimization. The security measures approach had no association with physical and verbal bullying and only a marginal association on relational bullying.
... Our indicator of school security includes measures that schools have taken that have consistently been shown to be ineffective deterrents to bullying. Therefore, results presented inTable 2confirm rather than contradict existing research (see, for example,Blosnich & Bossarte, 2011; see alsoHankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2011). ...
Article
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Bullying victimization is a growing problem for students, parents, teachers, and school administrators. Despite existing scholarship on various aspects of school bullying, certain facets of this important social issue remain underexplored. Using a pooled sample of 6 th through 12 th graders (N = 16,244), the current study analyzes the situational context of school bullying victimization. Findings from a conjunctive analysis of case configurations suggest that incidents of school bullying victimization are highly contextual, with few relevant factors demonstrating a constant “main effect” across situational profiles. Analyzing the situational context of bullying provides new insight into the dynamics of bullying, which are well documented in the literature. Results are discussed in terms of their contribution to the existing research and their implications for future study and policy.
... These features include metal detectors, cameras, locked doors, hall monitors, and security personnel. Lamoreaux (2017) found negative effects associated with metal detectors including increased fear of crime, that metal detectors are associated with increased student concern for their safety, that student fears are compounded with the addition of increased security measures (Perumean-Chaney and Sutton 2013), and that students at schools with metal detectors feel significantly less safe than students at schools without them (Gastic 2011;Hankin, Hertz, Simon 2011). A school psychologist might disagree that such effects provide an increase in safety given the psychological discomfort they bring. ...
Conference Paper
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Multiple stakeholders have an interest in making our schools ‘safe’ places to learn and work. Among these are students and parents, law enforcement officials, school administrators and teachers, code officials, and architects. Each party approaches the concept of ‘safe’ from varying institutional logics defined by their professional culture or place in society. Institutional logics represent frameworks for how people in society can frame an issue and help guide them to solve problems. These logics can be complementary or competing. One issue is finding common ground defining the problem and finding a common language with which stakeholders can communicate and work together. Another is understanding how practices and customs differ between stakeholders. Knowing how each party frames the issue of ‘safe’ or ‘secure’ schools’ aids in finding solutions to impasses where logics conflict through more holistic definitions. It also allows us to empirically know varying approaches to problem solving and where research is being conducted on the issue. The American Institute of Architects has lobbied the US government to establish a “Safe Schools Clearinghouse”. Conceived as a repository of best practices for ‘safe’ school design, this clearinghouse encourages experimental research by design schools. Research would be the foundation for decision-making by local school districts and would encourage the development of new technologies in school safety. However, there currently appears to be a lack of safety or security research within our architecture schools. To understand where academia is on the issue of school safety research, this paper explores, through a contemporary literature review, the areas of peer-reviewed research on four key terms: “safe schools”, “school safety”, “school security”, and “school shootings”. The results indicate that the topic of school safety is absent in architecture academia, and most prevalent in the fields of psychology and education. While there is much literature on school safety outside academia sharing ideas, opinions, and case studies of design practices, no rigorous research appears to be being conducted in our design schools offering the validity necessary to make prudent decisions. If architects are expected to act as arbiters of best practices to guide and educate society on the design of ‘safe’ schools, then research within our design schools must begin now.
... The only exception was a school security officer at school, which was associated with higher perceived school safety [43,48]. It is possible that metal detectors inconvenience students [101] and that they do not like feeling of being searched and monitored by security devices [48,102]. This could have a negative impact on their sense of safety by, for example, reminding them of a potential threat. ...
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This study systematically reviewed the literature on perceived school safety. We investigated the prevalence, factors and associated mental health difficulties, as well as cross-cultural findings. Five databases were searched up to 9 February 2021 for peer-reviewed papers published in English. We included quantitative studies that explored the perception of school safety among children and adolescents. The reference lists of the selected papers were also searched. We conducted a narrative synthesis of the included studies. The review included 43 papers. The mean prevalence of the students who felt unsafe at school was 19.4% and ranged from 6.1% to 69.1%. Their perceived safety was associated with a wide range of personal, school, and social factors. Not feeling safe at school was related to being victimized and mental health difficulties, including depressive symptoms and suicidal behavior. Higher perceived school safety was associated with measures such as the presence of a security officer and fair school rule enforcement. The results showed the lack of cross-cultural studies on perceived school safety. Empirical studies are needed that examine the mechanisms of school safety, using valid measures. A clear definition of school safety should be considered a key aspect of future studies.
... Закључак до којег су дошли односи се на директну корелацију између појачаних мера безбедности и повећања стопе насилног криминала у школама, док постоје минималне разлике између школа са другачијом врстом обезбеђења. Осим тога, постоје и ставови према којима постојеће мере безбедности компромитују психолошку безбедност ученика те се тако доводе у везу са озбиљним насилним инцидентима у васпитно-образовним установама (Garver & Noguera, 2012;Hankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2011;Perumean-Chaney & Sutton, 2012). У сличном маниру, Мајер и Леон (Mayer & Leone) наводе како су покушаји рестриктивне контроле школских просторија (попут уградње метал-детектора, закључавања брава, обезбеђења и патролирања школског особља) резултирали, између осталог, и великим степеном различитих поремећаја у школској средини (1999). ...
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Bullying, as an ubiquitous security and social phenomenon, produces certain consequences for the development of each individual who is touched by this phenomenon, whether it is a violent, a victim or an observer. This issue is a common problem for both educational actors and the wider community in which bulling has been manifested. Therefore, all relevant subjects of the academic, expert and civil public participate in the response to this issue. The main goal of this paper is the presentation of academically based research on bullying and the key theoretical approaches that contribute to the development of a systematic framework for actions towards this issue as well. In addition, concrete mechanisms for preventing bullying in educational institutions are of great importance. Hence, the successful prevention of bullying or, in addition, its minimization requires the existence of a strategy at the national level as well as the systematic implementation of adequate prevention programs in educational institutions in order to create a safe school environment on the basis of mutual respect, tolerance and constructive communication.
... Empirical research indicates that using security measures is either unrelated to student misbehavior (Servoss, 2017) or predictive of more school disruption and crime (Mayer & Leone, 1999;Nickerson & Martens, 2008). There is mounting evidence that some security measures can make students feel less safe at school (Bachman et al., 2011;Hankin et al., 2011;Perumean-Chaney & Sutton, 2013). For example, even after controlling for previous victimization, the presence of metal detectors and guards were linked to students' perceptions of fear (Bachman et al., 2011). ...
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Although all stakeholders agree that schools must be safe places to learn, there are discrepancies among researchers, policy makers, and the general public about what constitutes school safety, and how best to accomplish the goal of making schools safe. This article reviews what we have learned about components of school safety by examining trends in school disorder and crime in schools from multiple nationally representative samples and surveys. The importance of context and climate are considered, followed by a discussion of what has been learned about promoting school safety in the past decade, focusing on the balance of physical and psychological safety. Finally, this article examines implications and directions for the future of school safety.
... Physical security measures are increasingly prevalent in schools. National studies estimate that approximately 80% of public schools use video surveillance cameras and between 4% and 10% of public schools use metal detectors (Hankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2011;Musu-Gillette et al., 2018). According to one report, U.S. schools spent $5 billion in school security measures during the year following the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting (Linksey, 2013). ...
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Schools are one of the safest places for young people, but high-profile cases of school shootings have driven schools to engage in reactive practices such as expensive security measures and zero tolerance discipline that have had unintended negative effects. More proactive practices are needed to prevent violence, with particular attention to the commonplace types of aggression such as bullying and harassment that have serious consequences for students and can be the seedbeds for more severe violence. Overall, schools should place greater emphasis on multitiered prevention strategies that build a school climate characterized by high academic and behavioral expectations for students in the context of supportive relationships. Schools should also adopt threat assessment as a systematic approach to evaluating and helping troubled students. The overarching idea is that making schools safe and supportive environments that foster student well-being and achievement is vital for the prevention of violence.
... Results from a study that collected interview and observational data of students from two public high schools in a mid-Atlantic county revealed that high-security school environments do little for students' perception of school safety and can instead contribute to negative perceptions of school climate (Bracy 2011). These high-security practices-such as the use of police officers, security cameras, and metal detectors-have sometimes even made students feel less safe at their respective schools (Beger 2003;Hankin et al. 2011). High-security practices have also been shown to lead to an increase in disciplinary action against students with a disproportionate effect on students of color, thus perpetuating the school-to-prison pipeline (Kupchik and Ellis 2008). ...
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The rise of social media use among school youth has compelled school districts to implement social media monitoring to prevent active shootings, bullying, harassment, victimization, and suicide in the community. This presents an ethical and legal dilemma, with issues surrounding students’ rights to safety, privacy, and free speech in cyberspace. This paper followed the ethical decision-making model outlined by Armistead et al. (2011) to provide guidance to school psychologists and district personnel who may be deciding whether to implement social media monitoring. Review of National Association of School Psychologists and American Psychological Association ethical codes, legislation, and case law demonstrated many complexities regarding the rights of students and school district personnel. Evidence on the effectiveness of social media monitoring is still limited, so school districts and school psychologists are recommended to explore alternatives for harm and threat prevention that value the rights of students while also meeting their obligation to prevent abusive or hostile learning environments.
... Impressions of SROs have tended to be favorable for both principals (May, Fessel, & Means, 2004) and students (McDevitt & Paniello, 2005). However, investigations into the efficacy of metal detectors to reduce or prevent any form of misbehavior have not been promising (Gastic, 2011;Hankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2011). In examining the relationships among seven individual security measures and seven forms of student misbehavior, Kupchik (2010) found only three significant relationships. ...
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Despite a nationwide trend to increase security measures in schools, their effectiveness in reducing or preventing student misbehavior remains largely unexamined. Additionally, there is concern that increased security may have unintended negative side effects and is applied inequitably across students of disparate racial/ethnic backgrounds. The purpose of this study was to explore student differences between high and low security schools and to understand the relationship of security to student misbehavior. Data from 10,577 10th grade students from 504 public schools from the Education Longitudinal Study were examined. Numerous differences in students served by high and low security schools were noted; high security schools were more likely to serve African-American students. Security was negatively associated with student self-reported misbehavior but was unrelated to teacher ratings. Security interacted with race/ethnicity such that African-American students were rated as having higher levels of disruptive and attendance-related misbehavior by teachers in schools with higher levels of security.
... The challenge of effectively addressing youth violence in schools and preventing the school-to-prison pipeline is obviously complex and requires multipronged, systemic, and sustained efforts by students, parents, teachers, administrators, communities, and society. It is worth noting that some strategies (e.g., use of metal detectors or other security measures) currently used in schools lack data to support their effectiveness and may even be counterproductive by having a negative impact on students' perception of safety (Hankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2011). Other strategies (e.g., youth mentoring, antitruancy programs) may be considered promising and seem intuitive, but the results of the program evaluations are uneven (DuBois, Portillo, Rhodes, Silverthorn, & Valentine, 2011). ...
... (p. 721) Similarly, Kitsantas, Ware, and Martinez-Arias (Kitsantas et al. 2004; see also Hankin et al. 2011;Servoss and Finn 2014) found that safety measures implemented by schools, such as metal detectors and teacher supervision of school hallways, failed to increase students' perceptions of their safety at school. The presence of school resource officers (SROs) has also been found to increase perceptions of schools as unsafe, unless the SROs work to establish relationships with the students at the school, a variable that also seems to increase the likelihood of students reporting threats (Jonson 2017). ...
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A serious information gap exists between current practices to address threats of violence in pre-K-12 school settings in the USA and research on school climate and best practices in violence prevention. This article explores the nature and extent of gun violence on American school campuses and examines responses by school administrators and policymakers to address these threats. Further, it explores research that suggests that many efforts to prevent or prepare for gun violence in schools, such as zero-tolerance policies, profiling, physical security measures, lockdowns, and active shooter drills, may not only be misguided but may also cause significant unintended harm to children. Finally, it examines current research that points to policies and practices that are more likely to foster safe and humane school settings.
... In this same report, Abbot also called for a push to "harden campus facilities," including the installation of metal detectors, building physical structures around a school's campus in a barricade-like fashion, and using video surveillance to monitor a school's campus (Abbott, 2018). Unfortunately, these practices have not been shown to be effective (Hankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2011). ...
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Research Summary We conducted a scoping review of literature indexed in the National Library of Medicine's journal citation database, MEDLINE, and Scopus to identify articles in which the rapid response of hospital staff, emergency medical services personnel, the police, and the public to mass shootings is covered. Sixty‐five articles were included, and critical themes related to reducing the harm from a mass shooting were summarized. Policy Implications According to our findings, when mass shootings occur in the United States, several evidence‐informed steps can be taken from the moment the first bullet is fired until the last injured individual is transported to the hospital to promote a rapid response that can reduce death and disability. Ten recommendations are made ranging from recognition of the need for rapid response and bystander training to triage and transport training of police and avoidance of over‐response.
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Recent incidents of school-based violence have resulted in the widespread implementation of school safety strategies across the United States. While research on these strategies has grown over the past decade, there is little understanding about their collective influence on indicators of school violence. Using data from the 2007–2008 School Survey on Crime and Safety, the present study explored responses of 936 school officials (N = 936) employed in high schools across the United States. Taking a confirmatory factor analytic approach, strategies were grouped into numerous factors based on their typology. Factor scores were then extracted and used as predictor variables in a negative binomial regression analysis to determine the extent to which types of safety strategies were associated with recorded incidents of school-based violence.
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In late modernity there has been a massive growth in ‘new’ surveillance devices situated within schools. This paper explores the reasons behind this proliferation, considering the role of key protagonists and the promises made regarding these technologies. It is suggested that there is strong connection between notions of neoliberal governmentality (Foucault, 2008; Gane, 2012) and arguments relating to increased security, improved efficiency, the desirability of techno-surveillance devices and desensitization to pervasive monitoring. In particular, it is maintained that the devolution of state power, the marketization of education, increased responsibilization and the nature of observation in the viewer society all help to explain the emergence of ‘surveillance schools’. It is concluded that failure to recognize these new dynamics may result in schools quietly, subtly becoming experimental labs and then junkyards for our surveillance futures.
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In 2012, three minority students with disabilities died under a school district's watch. These tragedies placed the education, care and safety of students with disabilities on the public agenda. It put a high profile and an award-winning school superintendent on defense. What occurred in Tampa, Florida raises questions about school safety and equity across the country because it is located in the nation's largest school district. The public discourse shifted from performance to surveillance of a school district's most vulnerable population. In special education, surveillance includes a federally mandated process outlined in the 1975 Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) where students with disabilities are identified, categorized and placed. Florida calls this Exceptional Student Education (ESE). Once eligible, school districts are required to monitor these students through an Individual Educational Program (IEP). This is a legal document that should reflect a school district's effort to provide a "free and appropriate education" (FAPE) in the "least restrictive environment" (LRE).
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In the aftermath of several highly publicized incidents of school violence, public school officials have increasingly turned to intense surveillance methods to promote school safety. The current jurisprudence interpreting the Fourth Amendment generally permits school officials to employ a variety of strict measures, separately or in conjunction, even when their use creates a prison-like environment for students. Yet, not all schools rely on such strict measures. Recent empirical evidence suggests that low-income and minority students are much more likely to experience intense security conditions in their schools than other students, even after taking into account factors such as neighborhood crime, school crime, and school disorder. These empirical findings are problematic on two related fronts. First, research suggests that students subjected to these intense surveillance conditions are deprived of quality educational experiences that other students enjoy. Second, the use of these measures perpetuates social inequalities and exacerbates the school-to-prison pipeline. Under the current legal doctrine, students have almost no legal recourse to address conditions creating prison-like environments in schools. This Article offers a reformulated legal framework under the Fourth Amendment that is rooted in the foundational Supreme Court cases evaluating students' rights under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The historical justification courts invoke to abridge students' constitutional rights in schools, including their Fourth Amendment rights, is to promote the educational interests of the students. This justification no longer holds true when a school creates a prison-like environment that deteriorates the learning environment and harms students' educational interests. This Article maintains that in these circumstances, students' Fourth Amendment rights should not be abridged but strengthened.
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Gang-related violence in schools can have a number of negative effects on the school environment, student achievement, and perceptions of fear. Schools that report a gang presence among students often report higher rates of victimization on school property. In response, many schools have focused on both physical and procedural safety measures to enhance security and prevent violence. However, attempts at maintaining order and ensuring safety often fall short in preventing violence and may actually enhance feelings of fear at schools. As such, schools face the difficult task of addressing violence with effective safety measures while also minimizing and balancing the prison-like feeling that comes with many of the options. This chapter aims to describe the effects of violence in schools and examine a variety of safety measures in terms of cost, effect on perceptions of fear, and effectiveness.
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As a part of socio-ecological approaches to campus sexual violence prevention, there is a call for greater attention to the role of the environment. Despite this, physical space, an aspect of the built environment, is understudied. There is a lack of models for the ways physical space can help facilitate prevention efforts on campus. Disciplines such as criminology have put forth theories such as crime prevention through environmental design, which offer a foundation for application to college campuses but which require modification. The current model draws from reviews of research, theory, and critiques of work on the prevention and the physical environment to present a strengths-centered, social justice–based model for campuses to incorporate the consideration of physical spaces into sexual violence prevention planning.
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Weapons at school pose a danger to students as well as faculty. Educational administrators have attempted to reduce their prevalence by implementing random weapons searches in schools. This article examines the effectiveness of this approach using data from two geographically adjacent school districts in Florida (Miami-Dade and Broward). In the 1998-1999 school year, Miami-Dade County Schools implemented mandatory random weapons searches in schools, whereas Broward County did not. Using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy, the results indicate that the searches reduced the likelihood that students brought weapons to school and reduced incidences of being offered illegal drugs at school in Miami. Moreover, students in Miami were less likely to report skipping school due to safety concerns following the introduction of the searches.
Chapter
Gang-related violence in schools can have a number of negative effects on the school environment, student achievement, and perceptions of fear. Schools that report a gang presence among students often report higher rates of victimization on school property. In response, many schools have focused on both physical and procedural safety measures to enhance security and prevent violence. However, attempts at maintaining order and ensuring safety often fall short in preventing violence and may actually enhance feelings of fear at schools. As such, schools face the difficult task of addressing violence with effective safety measures while also minimizing and balancing the prison-like feeling that comes with many of the options. This chapter aims to describe the effects of violence in schools and examine a variety of safety measures in terms of cost, effect on perceptions of fear, and effectiveness.
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Many children across the world are exposed to school violence, which undermines their right to education and adversely affects their development. Studies of interventions for school violence suggest that it can be prevented. However, this evidence base is challenging to navigate. We completed a systematic review of interventions to reduce four types of school violence: (a) peer violence; (b) corporal punishment; (c) student-on-teacher violence and (d) teacher-on-student violence. Reviewers independently searched databases and journals. Included studies were published between 2005 and 2015; in English; considered school-based interventions for children and measured violence as an outcome. Many systematic reviews were found, thus we completed a systematic review of systematic reviews. Only systematic reviews on interventions for intimate partner violence (IPV) and peer aggression were found. These reviews were generally of moderate quality. Research on both types of violence was largely completed in North America. Only a handful of programmes demonstrate promise in preventing IPV. Cognitive behavioral, social-emotional and peer mentoring/mediation programmes showed promise in reducing the levels of perpetration of peer aggression. Further research needs to determine the long-term effects of interventions, potential moderators and mediators of program effects, program effects across different contexts and key intervention components.
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School violence can be defined as violent acts or aggressive behaviors that take place in the school environment. These behaviors range from acts of fatal violence to aggressive behaviors that may be precursors for violence. Research has identified both risk and protective factors that influence the likelihood of youth engaging in school violence. Many different programs and strategies have been developed to prevent school violence, with some showing greater effectiveness than others.
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To understand the effects of school safety practices and strategies on the school environment, researchers have consistently investigated the perceptions of students and various school personnel concerning school safety. Yet school social workers, professionals commonly employed in today’s schools to address the mental health needs of students, are often left out of the school safety discussion. Data were collected from 229 school social workers across the United States to examine: 1) school social workers’ perceptions regarding the effectiveness of various school safety strategies; 2) differences in these perceptions based on student- and school-level variables; and 3) comments from participants regarding school safety in United States schools. The purpose of this paper is to provide timely implications concerning school safety from a unique and unstudied perspective.
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Background: This study used a new Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) assessment tool to test the associations between physical attributes of schools and violence-related behaviors and perceptions of students. Methods: Data were collected from 4717 students from 50 middle schools. Student perceptions of risk and safety, and violence were assessed. Evaluators used the CPTED School Assessment (CSA) to quantify how well the physical elements of each school correspond to ideal CPTED principles. Generalized linear mixed models were used to adjust for school- and student-level characteristics. Results: Higher CSA scores were generally associated with higher perceptions of safety and lower levels of violence perpetration and perceived risk in unadjusted models. Higher CSA scores were also associated with lower odds of missing school because of safety concerns in most adjusted models, with significant adjusted odds ratios (AORs) ranging from 0.32 to 0.63. CSA scores for parking and bus loading areas also remained associated with higher perceived safety (AORs = 1.28 and 1.32, respectively) and lower perceived risk (AORs = 0.73 and 0.66, respectively) in adjusted models. Conclusions: The CSA is useful for assessing school environments that are associated with violence-related behaviors and perceptions. The CSA might help guide school environmental modifications to reduce violence.
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The use of school security measures has increased over the last two decades. Yet prior research suggests school security measures have a deterrent effect on student misbehavior. Existing studies often focus on school-level comparisons in security as opposed to examining how students within a given school differ in their interaction with security measures (i.e., within-school differences). To address this gap in the literature, the current study estimates the association between individual students' engagement with security and multiple forms of maladaptive student behavior in school. In particular, this study is guided by two research questions: 1) What is the relationship between students' engagement with school security measures and their engagement in problem behaviors; and, 2) To what extent do the relationships between engagement with security and student behavior problems differ by student race and ethnicity? Longitudinal data were collected from students at two separate time points in one academic year (N=359) across eight schools in one urban school district. Using a series of models to examine how students' engagement with school security measures is related to their perpetration of student behavior, findings highlight negative associations between engagement with school security and non-serious violent and weapons-related crime. While the school security change score and students' engagement in problem behaviors was no different for Black students than it was for students who were non-Black or non-Hispanic, the negative association between engagement with security and behavior indicated a stronger deterrent effect for Hispanic students. Findings suggest that engagement with school security should be examined at the within-school level and with consideration that racial and ethnic differences might vary from student to student within any given school. Moreover, long-term programming goals should be established when developing process for securing schools with emphasis on how security measures might influence individual students differently within the school setting.
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Social control and procedural justice theories indicate that informal social control reduces problem behaviors. However, many schools have implemented formal control mechanisms such as school security measures. This study examines the association between school security measures (security personnel, metal detectors, and surveillance cameras) and students’ perceptions of informal social control (relationships with teachers, other school adults, and the fairness and consistency of school rules). We used structural equation modeling to examine these relationships in a nationally representative sample of 6,547 secondary students surveyed as part of the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (M age = 14.94; 51% male, 60% White non-Hispanic, 14% Black non-Hispanic, 20% Hispanic). The results indicated that the presence of security personnel in schools was associated with poorer student relationships with teachers. Findings for the other school security measures were nonsignificant or inconsistent across models. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
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Despite data indicating that schools are safe, and safer today than they were 20 years ago, it is not uncommon for both the general public and school policymakers to exaggerate safety threats following high-fatality school shootings such as the attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Often this leads to reactionary policies not supported by science. This paper reviews current school safety policy making efforts, with special attention directed to a policy analysis conducted by the Education Commission of the States, reviews the literature surrounding school safety approaches, and draws contrasts between the two. Implications for school psychology practice and for school safety advocacy are discussed.
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Objectives. The recurring mass murder of students in schools has sparked an intense debate about how best to increase school safety. Because public opinion weighs heavily in this debate, we examine public views on how best to prevent school shootings. We theorize that three moral-altruistic factors are likely to be broadly relevant to public opinion on school safety policies: moral intuitions about harm, anger about school crime, and altruistic fear. Methods. We commissioned YouGov to survey 1,100 Americans to explore support for a range of gun control and school programming policies and willingness to pay for school target hardening. We test the ability of a moral-altruistic model to explain public opinion, while controlling for the major predictors of gun control attitudes found in the social sciences. Results. The public strongly supports policies that restrict who can access guns, expand school anti-bullying and counseling programs, and target-harden schools. While many factors influence attitudes toward gun-related policies specifically, only moral-altruistic factors increase support for all three types of school safety policies. Conclusions. The public favors a comprehensive policy response and is willing to pay for it. Support for prevention efforts reflects moral intuitions about harm, anger about school crime, and altruistic fear.
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Authoritarian school safety measures have become commonplace in efforts to promote safety in today’s schools. This paper attempts to examine the effects of student engagement with authoritarianism in schools using self-report survey data from students (N= 359) across eight high schools in one large, urban school district in the greater New York City area. With consideration of various frameworks for conceptualizing authority in schools, authoritarianism in schools is operationalized by student self-report of engagement between two time points in (1) random sweeps for contraband; (2) surveillance cameras; (3) metal detector searches; and (4) interaction with authority (i.e., school police). Findings suggest those who have increased engagement with authoritarianism in schools throughout the year report increased occurrence of engagement in maladaptive behavior. Concurrently, exposure to authoritarianism over the course of one school year is associated with student behavior, academic performance, and attendance in ways that vary for different racial and ethnic groups. Findings call for educators and administrators to consider and continually assess the effects of authoritarian practices on student performance when developing and implementing safety protocol in their schools.
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There is a longstanding stereotype that segregated high schools serving a large majority of minority students are unsafe. But it is unclear if this stereotype has any merit. I use a QuantCrit theoretical framework along with data from the nationally representative Education Longitudinal Study and multilevel logistic regression models to explore how school racial segregation is related to student reports of victimization in high school, as well as student reports of peer disruptive behavior. Results indicate that attending a segregated minority high school is not related to increased chances of victimization, but students who attend such schools face a more disrupted learning environment.
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School security measures have become commonplace in recent years. Still, little quantitative research has examined how this trend shapes students’ perceptions of school. This study examines how students’ exposure to school security relates to their sense of school connectedness, with particular attention to the difference between white and nonwhite students. Using a longitudinal sample of 359 students across eight high schools in one urban school district, this study uses student fixed-effects models to link changes in students’ exposure to security and connectedness with teachers, peers, and the school. Increases in students’ exposure to security were associated with small decreases in students’ connectedness to peers, and this association differed for white and nonwhite students. There was no significant association between exposure to security and connectedness with teachers or the school. Increased exposure to school security has limited consequences for within-person changes in school connectedness; however, between-person differences may still exist.
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Background Assaults can occur at schools/educational facilities involving students, teachers and other school employees. It was the purpose of this study to correlate injury patterns with patient demographics in school assault victims. Understanding injury patterns with their associated demographics will not only be useful for health care providers but can also assist in proposing prevention strategies for both students and school employees. Methods Emergency department data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program data for the years 2005 through 2015 were used in this study. Statistical analyses were performed with SUDAAN software to account for the weighted, stratified nature of the data. Results There were an estimated 852,822 ED visits for school assaults. The median age was 13.8 years with 81.3% between 5 and 19 years old; 64.4% were male. After age 4, the number of females proportionately increased with increasing age. The most common diagnosis was a contusion/abrasion (38.6%). The injuries occurred in the head/neck (63.9%), upper extremity (19.0%), upper trunk (6.6%), lower trunk (5.5%), and lower extremity (4.9%). Firearm violence accounted for 0.1% of the assaults. Human bites occurred in 3.7%. Sexual assault was rare and proportionally the highest in those ≤4 years of age. Internal organ injuries were more common in females (13.1% vs 3.55) and for those admitted to the hospital (29.9% vs 19.9%). The incidence of ED visits for school assault decreased 50% from 2005 to 2015. Conclusions This study analyzed ED visits due to assaults occurring in schools. Firearm violence accounted for only 0.1% of the injuries, in contrast to media coverage regarding school assaults. The most common injury location was the head/neck (63.9%) and the most common diagnosis was a contusion/abrasion. This data can also serve as a baseline for further studies and the impact of potential reduction strategies.
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The victimization of students at school is currently a matter of grave public concern. This study attempts to identify factors that single out junior and senior high school students as victims of campus theft and violent crime. Previous research indicates that victimization risk can flow from a variety of situational and individual variables, although this research has not focused on victimization in the school setting. To test which factors are most salient at school, we employed the 1993 National Household and Education Survey, School Safety and Discipline component (NHES-SSD). We found that although community variables exert some effect on schoolyard victimization risk, risk levels are associated with the presence of likely offenders at school as well as individual students who have delinquent characteristics and criminal associates. The attempts of schools to protect students through target-hardening strategies (e.g., metal detectors and security guards) were consistently unsuccessful.
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A largely neglected aspect of school violence is low-level, underlying violence in schools that includes bullying, peer sexual harassment, victimization based on sexual orientation, and the psychological maltreatment of students by teachers. Low-level violence angers and alienates many students and contributes to a hostile school environment. This article examines the extent of low-level violence in U.S. public schools and its impact on students’ school performance. The authors argue that the one way of reducing low-level violence in schools is to create a more positive school culture and climate. Guidelines for preventing or minimizing low-level violence in schools are presented.
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This research examines a model of school violence and disruption using structural equation modeling. Data are analyzed from the 1995 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey which includes 9,954 completed interviews of students age 12 to 19 in schools across the United States. Students were asked questions about school rules and procedures, knowledge of and personal experience with violence against students and teachers, accessibility of drugs, gang presence, other violence or disruption in the school, as well as individual fear relating to being victimized and self-protective actions they had tak- en. The analysis used a subset of 6947 subjects, age, 12 to 19, all of whom attended public schools for at least five of the last six months prior to the survey. A construct of "System of Law" included a composite (derived) measured variable for student knowledge of school rules and consequences for infractions along with another composite measured variable demonstrating implementation of rules. The "System of Law" construct was shown to lead to less disorder. On the other hand, a construct of "Secure Building," that included com- posite measured variables showing physical (metal detectors, locked doors, etc.) and per- sonnel-based (security guards, etc.) actions to run a secure building, led to more disorder. Implications for school policy and future research are discussed. • • * School violence and disruption is a major concern of parents, students, educators, political leaders and others in the community. The public's understanding of school violence and disruption is a function of fact and perception. Furlong and Morrison (1994) report that data gathering methods to assess school violence vary considerably and that perceived violence is consistently reported at higher levels than self-reports of vio- lent incidents. Methodologically, studies on school violence usually take a (confirmatory) hypothesis verification approach. That is, school vio- lence is assumed to exist and survey questions elicit responses that con- firm its existence. A Congressional Research Service report (1994) identified the follow- ing problems in data collection efforts regarding school violence:
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School safety administrators (SSAs) are using technologies such as video cameras, weapon detectors, and entry control devices (ECD) in an attempt to deal with school violence. Although it is well known that cameras are useful for documenting events after the fact, further utility of the various school safety technologies is virtually unknown. To address the paucity of information in this area, a national telephone survey of SSAs was conducted. In addition to discussing technology utilization and effectiveness, several important policy considerations (e.g., cost, technology placement, the role that local law enforcement can play in safety plans, and the availability of alternatives that might bolster school safety by enhancing the school community) are discussed.
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Examined school violence victimization among 6,148 students in grades 5–12 who responded to the California School Climate and Safety Survey (M. Furlong & R. Morrison, 1994). Violence victimization was measured by self-report across 21 incidents ranging from less serious verbal harassment to weapon threats and physical injury. 388 multi-victims were compared to 928 non-victims. Results showed multi-victims were more likely to be male, to perceive the school campus as being unsafe, to have poorer social support networks with peers and teachers, to have pervasive distrusting attitudes about interpersonal relationships, and to be more worried about school violence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Universal school-based programs to reduce or prevent violent behavior are delivered to all children in classrooms in a grade or in a school. Similarly, programs targeted to schools in high-risk areas (defined by low socioeconomic status or high crime rates) are delivered to all children in a grade or school in those high-risk areas. During 2004-2006, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (Task Force) conducted a systematic review of published scientific evidence concerning the effectiveness of these programs. The results of this review provide strong evidence that universal school-based programs decrease rates of violence and aggressive behavior among school-aged children. Program effects were demonstrated at all grade levels. An independent meta-analysis of school-based programs confirmed and supplemented these findings. On the basis of strong evidence of effectiveness, the Task Force recommends the use of universal school-based programs to prevent or reduce violent behavior.
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Objective. —To learn how, when, where, and why juvenile offenders acquire guns. Design. —Following acquisition of informed consent, we conducted semistructured interviews between June and November 1995 with a convenience sample of 63 juvenile offenders aged 13 through 18 years, each of whom was incarcerated at a detention center in metropolitan Atlanta, Ga. Setting. —Five detention centers in metropolitan Atlanta. Main Outcome Measures. —Frequency of handgun acquisition and use, age at and method of first handgun acquisition, feelings experienced when carrying guns, development of gun-carrying behavior, drug use, and gang membership. Results. —The mean age of respondents was 15.7 years. Forty-one male and 12 female respondents had owned a gun. Eighty-four percent of gun carriers acquired their first gun before the age of 15 years; more than half received their first gun passively, without any specific plan to do so. Adolescents who purposefully obtained their first handgun were more likely to become frequent or constant carriers. Forty percent felt safer and 40% said they felt more energized, excited, or powerful while carrying a gun. However, 34% reported increased anxiety about getting caught. Almost all stated that guns are readily available from a wide range of sources. Conclusion. —Knowledge of the developmental patterns of gun carrying by delinquent adolescents could be useful in formulating effective strategies to reduce firearm violence.(JAMA. 1996;275:1754-1758)
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This paper provides an analysis of data on school security measures which were obtained from a survey administered to a sample of 230 high school students. The majority of students indicated that the school police officers and security officers help keep the schools safe and that the drug-sniffing dogs help reduce drugs in the schools, but there was no clear consensus among the students on the issues of whether the video surveillance cameras increase safety, whether the police and security officers should search students with metal detectors, or whether there should be more police and security officers in the schools. The only security measure which the majority of students disliked was the policy that all backpacks be translucent. An examination of gender differences in student perceptions of school security measures shows that males were significantly more likely than females to negatively evaluate the school police officers and to oppose the use of metal detectors in the schools. Finally, the data indicate that the aforementioned security strategies have little impact on the presence of drugs and weapons in the schools. The policy implications are discussed. (Contains 3 tables.)
Article
This paper provides an analysis of data on school security measures which were obtained from a survey administered to a sample of 230 high school students. The majority of students indicated that the school police officers and security officers help keep the schools safe and that the drug-sniffing dogs help reduce drugs in the schools, but there was no clear consensus among the students on the issues of whether the video surveillance cameras increase safety, whether the police and security officers should search students with metal detectors, or whether there should be more police and security officers in the schools. The only security measure which the majority of students disliked was the policy that all backpacks be translucent. An examination of gender differences in student perceptions of school security measures shows that males were significantly more likely than females to negatively evaluate the school police officers and to oppose the use of metal detectors in the schools. Finally, the data indicate that the aforementioned security strategies have little impact on the presence of drugs and weapons in the schools. The policy implications are discussed.
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Thesis research directed by Dept. of Special Education. Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Maryland, College Park, 2001. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 142-157).
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To learn how, when, where, and why juvenile offenders acquire guns. Following acquisition of informed consent, we conducted semistructured interviews between June and November 1995 with a convenience sample of 63 juvenile offenders aged 13 through 18 years, each of whom was incarcerated at a detention center in metropolitan Atlanta, Ga. Five detention centers in metropolitan Atlanta. Frequency of handgun acquisition and use, age at and method of first handgun acquisition, feelings experienced when carrying guns, development of gun-carrying behavior, drug use, and gang membership. The mean age of respondents was 15.7 years. Forty-one male and 12 female respondents had owned a gun. Eighty-four percent of gun carriers acquired their first gun before the age of 15 years; more than half received their first gun passively, without any specific plan to do so. Adolescents who purposefully obtained their first handgun were more likely to become frequent or constant carriers. Forty percent felt safer and 40% said they felt more energized, excited, or powerful while carrying a gun. However, 34% reported increased anxiety about getting caught. Almost all stated that guns are readily available from a wide range of sources. Knowledge of the developmental patterns of gun carrying by delinquent adolescents could be useful in formulating effective strategies to reduce firearm violence.
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The purpose of this research was to study adolescents' perceptions of violence in their communities and schools and examine the relationship between these reports and their emotional and behavioral functioning, controlling for the effects of family violence and other sociodemographic variables. Respondents included 935 urban and suburban high school students who completed the Youth Self-Report (YSR) as well as measures assessing their perceptions of community, school, and family violence. This sample of high school students was exposed to high levels of violence in their communities and schools. Over 45% of the students reported witnessing severe forms of violence such as a shooting or stabbing in their communities or schools during the year prior to the study. Hierarchic regression analyses revealed that for males, exposure to community and school violence was a significant predictor of aggressive acting-out behaviors, even when controlling for the effects of family violence and other sociodemographic variables. For girls, only exposure to school violence was a significant predictor of aggression. The results for internalizing scores (depression, withdrawal) were less impressive, particularly for males. The high levels of violence exposure of adolescents in their communities and schools and the associated increase in behavior problems suggest the need for developing school and community intervention programs to treat violence and its impact.
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Policies set at the state, district, and school levels can support and enhance a healthy and safe school environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducts the School Health Policies and Programs Study every 6 years. In 2006, computer-assisted telephone interviews or self-administered mail questionnaires were completed by state education agency personnel in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and among a nationally representative sample of school districts (n=461). Computer-assisted personal interviews were conducted with personnel in a nationally representative sample of elementary, middle, and high schools (n=1025). Most districts had adopted a policy on the inspection and maintenance of school facilities and equipment, and most schools had inspected and provided appropriate maintenance for each type of school facility and equipment during the 12 months preceding the study. Nearly all districts and schools had a comprehensive crisis preparedness, response, and recovery plan. Nearly all districts and schools prohibited tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drug use; fighting; weapons use; and weapon possession; but when students broke rules related to those behaviors, punitive measures were taken more often than provision of supportive services. Most schools did not reschedule outdoor activities to avoid times when the sun was at peak intensity, nor did they encourage the use of sunscreen before going outside. To provide students with a truly healthy and safe school environment in which learning can take place, more schools need to promote a positive school climate and reduce violence, injuries, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances. States and districts need to continue to provide policy and technical assistance in support of school efforts.
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