U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Reducing Fear in the Schools: Managing Conflict Through Student Problem Solving

NCJ Number
Education and Urban Society Volume: 28 Issue: 4 Dated: (August 1996) Pages: 436-455
Date Published
20 pages
The School Safety Program established in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County (N.C.) School District in 1994 was evaluated in terms of its impacts on students and teachers.
The program aimed to implement community policing and problem-solving techniques in a high school. The central aspect of the project was student involvement in the problem-solving process through the addition of a problem-solving component to the regular government and history curriculum required of 11th-grade students in one high school. The evaluation used a quasi-experimental research design and three survey waves, starting with collection of baseline data from 450 students in the experimental school and a control school in the spring of the 1993-94 school year. During the second and third waves in December 1994 and May 1995, data were collected from about 440 and 450 students, respectively. Results revealed a high level of interest in the project, as well as significant reductions in fear among students in comparison to the substantial levels of fear noted during the baseline survey. Teachers also reported positive attitudes toward general school safety following the introduction of the project. Findings also indicated that the most significant sources of campus disorder relate to everyday school interactions rather than the problems that receive the most attention and that students are interested in a safer, more orderly school setting. The results are promising, although it is also important to note that this project was implemented in a setting in which teachers and administrators were open to increased student influence in school governance. Tables and 18 references

Date Published: January 1, 1996