Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Encyclopedia of School Crime and Violence

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Encyclopedia of School Crime and Violence

Article excerpt

Encyclopedia of School Crime and Violence. Ed. by Laura L. Finley. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2011. 2 vols. $173. (ISBN 978-0-313-36238-5). Ebook available (ISBN 978-0-313-36239-2) call for pricing.

An unfortunate fact of life for educators and prospective college, elementary, and secondary teachers in the United States is the pandemic of violence in our nation's schools. Since the massive media attention surrounding the shootings at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech, administrators and teachers have met with increasing urgency from concerned parents and public officials over the measures they are adopting to reduce the level of violence in their schools. While studies have shown that school crime is declining, the prevalence of violence in US schools remains a difficult problem to solve because it ordinarily comes in more insidious and mundane forms than high-profile shooting rampages: bullying, theft, vandalism, sexual harassment, cyber-offenses, dating violence, fighting, race-related offenses, verbal abuse, gang intimidation, and drug and alcohol abuse, to name a few. The problem, moreover, affects everyone, not just the immediate victim. Teachers quit, students don't show up, classrooms are disrupted, activities are reduced and cut, and the school's reputation suffers. More frightening is the frequency of homicide, serious assaults, and sexual assault. An unhappy daily routine at many schools is students' having to deal with lockdown, security checks, metal detectors, and guards and police officers. School violence and crime, moreover, is a global phenomenon that affects many different schools at every socioeconomic level.

A welcome addition to the literature, therefore, is this unique and comprehensive two-volume offering from reference leader ABC-Clio. Edited by Laura L. Finley, an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, the encyclopedia is a convenient one-stop reference for criminal justice, sociology, education, and law enforcement students. It will undoubtedly serve as a timely and important source for researchers; for school administrators, school board members, teachers and parents; for law-enforcement and public-service officials; and for concerned general readers.

Organized alphabetically, the encyclopedia covers a wide variety of issues including specific incidents, theories, preventive measures, important agencies, international cases, and significant people in eighty entries written by an impressive list of contributing scholars and subject-specialists. …

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