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School-Based Surveillance of Violence, Injury, and Disciplinary Actions

NCJ Number
Paul M. Kingery; Mark B. Coggeshall
Date Published
December 2001
10 pages
This paper examined how data from student self-report surveys as well as other sources can be used to assess the weaknesses in current school-based incident reporting systems and improve the validity of surveillance data on school violence.
Across America the safety of students in school has become of paramount concern to the public. With the incident and disciplinary data from reporting systems extensively flawed, the extent of violence in schools and the consequences of the violence are difficult to assess. Data from student self-report surveys were examined to determine weaknesses in current school-based incident reporting systems. Focus was placed on assessing the validity of data produced by the Gun-Free Schools Act (GFSA) reporting requirements compared to reports on the number of guns in schools obtained from nationally representative student survey data. The paper discusses current practice in statewide surveillance efforts, the shortcomings of school surveillance systems, obstacles in reporting within school districts, and new surveillance tools. Recommendations and initiatives for consideration are presented for the improvement of incident reporting in all schools. References