Schools, Violence, and Society

Schools, Violence, and Society

Schools, Violence, and Society

Schools, Violence, and Society

Synopsis

This book is designed to examine issues related to schools, violence, and society. Since the 1960s, crime and violence have been increasing in America's schools. This violence is not limited to inner-city schools, but has struck virtually every strata and socio-economic level of American culture and society. The prevalence of crime and violence occurring in our nation's schools has become the concern of policymakers on the national and state levels. Concern has spread to parents, educators, and students themselves. This edited volume reviews violence in society, school violence, and crime. Coverage includes past trends in school violence and describes the current extent of the problem, as well as tspects of its causes and prevention. The influence on the students and community of gang activity, gang-related issues, drugs, alcohol, and weapons on campus is discussed.

Excerpt

On a bright, sunny day with wispy clouds and a gentle breeze, the faint laughter of children can be heard. The school yard, a place where children play with friends, jump rope, throw and kick balls, trade cards, laugh, and just hang out in this peaceful--albeit temporary--sanctuary. Inside the school, a warm welcome smile from the teacher, grateful for the apple from a kind student. The school, a place to read and write and create and learn. In the decades to come the sounds of laughter fade, and the once hospitable sanctuary is transformed into a place of fear. Instead of apples, the children bring guns to school. Instead of games or laughter, there are profanity, assaults, drugs, and alcohol.

What happened? We have seemingly awakened from a peaceful, idyllic slumber to find a world gone mad. Violence has taken center stage. It is a prime concern of our society and has become the focus of investigative journalism on television and in our newspapers. It has struck the workplace, with workers taking the lives of others. It has become a major issue in political elections, resulting in the enactment of various crime legislation and a "get tough on crime" attitude among politicians. And it has crept into our schools.

It has been suggested that our education system mirrors the dynamics of our society. But just how prevalent is violence in our schools? What form does it take? What are its root causes? What effect has violence had on students, teachers, administrators, and the learning process in general? What can be done to combat this menace and once again provide a safe and secure place of learning-- an intellectual sanctuary--for our children? Finally, who is responsible for dealing with violence in schools? These are the questions addressed by this book.

This overview refers to specific chapters in this book as they relate to these topical questions. For the sake of brevity, we do not mention some of the chapters here; however, the editor and publishers gratefully acknowledge all of the authors for their significant contribution to this work.

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