Working Toward a 21st Century Framework for Researchers of School Safety Leadership in Practice

Authored by: Billie Gastic , James Earl Davis

Handbook of Research on Educational Leadership for Equity and Diversity

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415657457
eBook ISBN: 9780203076934
Adobe ISBN: 9781135128432


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School violence is a serious and recurring issue in American education and has negative implications for all school stakeholders (Eisenbraun, 2007; S. L. Johnson, 2009; Mayer & Cornell, 2010; Morrison, Furlong, D'Incau, & Morrison, 2005). The presence or absence of violence in a school lies at the heart of school quality (Jacobson, Brooks, Giles, Johnson, & Ylimaki, 2007; Verdugo & Schneider, 1999), and determines whether or not effective teaching and engaged learning can take place. The effects of safety extend to all domains of life. Being and feeling safe is linked to positive academic, behavioral, and socioemotional outcomes for students (Cohen, McCabe, Michelli, & Pickeral, 2009; Twemlow, Fonagy, & Sacco, 2002). For example, students who have been bullied have higher rates of delinquency and truancy than those who have not (Gastic, 2008). Students who are victims of violence at school are also at increased risk of repeated victimization and serious delinquency as adults (Henry, 2009). Additionally, negative consequences have been noted for both the victims and perpetrators of bullying violence (Espelage & Swearer, 2003; Houbre, Tarquinio, Thuillier, & Hergott, 2006). Teachers, who themselves can be victims of violence at school (e.g., S. Snyder, 2008), are affected by the violence among students. School violence is associated with low morale and retention problems for teachers, especially at urban public schools (Smith & Smith, 2006).

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