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Patrolling the Schools

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 26 Issue: 9 Dated: September 1999 Pages: 68-73
Rebecca Kanable
Date Published
September 1999
6 pages
An interview with Dale Yeager, a criminal analyst, explores what causes students to act out in violence and what can be done to counter violence in schools.
Although media coverage of school violence has focused on incidents that have involved guns, the primary weapon in school violence is an edged weapon. Violent children can be divided into two categories: sociopaths and psychopaths. Sociopaths are bullies. They usually lead a pseudo gang and tend to be outgoing and manipulative. They instigate fights to establish their authority and attempt to achieve self-esteem and group status through physical power. Psychopaths are loners who tend to be socially inept. They are out of the mainstream of the school subculture. Violent acts by students are not typically spontaneous. They evolve over a period of time, and warning signs are given. A youth's violent behavior stems from family conditions that involve either harsh and abusive treatment of the youth or emotional neglect in which there is little parental attention to or interest in what the youth is doing. In order to prevent and counter violent student behavior, local police departments must be trained, along with school officials, on how to do security audits in a school, how to profile children for violent tendencies, and how to secure a school. This article discusses what makes securing a school unique, the kind of school security and safety program needed, how police and schools can work together, whether metal detectors are useful in a school setting, the values of security cameras and security guards, whether violent children can change, and whether school violence will increase.