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Violence Prevention in Georgia's Rural Public School Systems: A Comparison of Perceptions of School Superintendents 1995-2005

NCJ Number
Journal of School Violence Volume: 6 Issue: 4 Dated: 2007 Pages: 105-129
Chet Ballard; Lauren Brady
Date Published
25 pages
The study provided an overview of the perceptions of school violence in Georgia from 1995 to 2005
Results indicate that over the last decade, mandated school safety plans, funding for security technology, mandatory violence prevention training, and zero tolerance policies have produced an environment where virtually all school superintendents recognize that school safety efforts are a priority. The largest single change in behaviors and perceptions over the last 10 years was the 42 percent decline in the removal of guns from students, and a small but substantively important decline in the number of knives removed from students; the combination of zero tolerance policies with harsh penalties and enhanced detection strategies contributed to the decline. Among the largest changes were superintendents’ perceptions of school safety as an overall concern, with many more reporting that safety concerns were constant but not increasing. School safety has become a routine activity for superintendents and the perception that more needs to be done has been replaced with a new attitude that asserts that the priority objective is the maintenance of efforts to prevent school violence. Successful efforts that have been implemented since 1995 include: video surveillance on school buses, which has gained greater support; School Resource Officers who are viewed as essential components of a school system’s safety plan and violence prevention strategy; alternative programs such as Making the Grade, Life Skills Training Program, Project Alert, and the Strengthening Families Program; the use of drug sniffing dogs; and zero tolerance policies for alcohol, drugs, and weapons. Tables, references