In a society permeated with violence, there are seemingly few places where one can feel completely safe. Schools were typically regarded as safe havens where children are able to learn and grow without the fear of violence. However, with recent school shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and most recently at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the public’s trust in the security of America’s schools has been severely marred. Despite ongoing media depictions that the classroom has become an unsafe environment, current research indicates that violent incidents comparative to Columbine are a rare occurrence and are actually declining however, bullying and similar incidents continue to plague many school districts creating potentially violent situations.
“In the United States, an estimated 55 million students are enrolled in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Another 15 million students attend colleges and universities across the country” (Centers for Disease Control, 2008, p. 1). With over 70 million students enrolled in America’s school systems, safety should be a top priority. Unfortunately, many of the crimes that have been prevalent within American society have infiltrated some the school campuses throughout the country:
a female student was stabbed in a restroom at Southwood Middle School in Florida, bomb threats cost one North Carolina school division thousands of dollars and disrupted classes, in Red Lake, Minnesota, a 16 year old boy killed his grandparents before killing seven others at his high school (Bucher & Manning, 2005, p. 55).
Violence can also encompass subtle things like name calling; fear of being ridiculed; teasing; offensive touching; racial, ethnic, cultural, or sexual slurs; and bullying (Bucher & Manning, 2005, p. 55).
With the wide array of behavior that can constitute violence within a school environment, it is inevitable that a majority of students will experience violence...