Running head: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS AND SURROUNDING SCHOOL VIOLENCE 2 Abstract School violence has seen an increase in the recent years. Although there have been responses by criminal justice agencies, there has been a transparent lack of policies and procedures, including lack of responses to the ongoing violence in schools (Duplechain and Morris, 2014). This paper explores school violence and its effect on criminal justice agencies. This paper will include a critique of articles about school violence, specifically school shootings, policies and procedures for school violence currently in place, and the direct effects on responding criminal justice agencies. This paper will also address the effects school violence has on the social, economic, and environmental factors primarily in the United States. Lastly, this paper will also provide effective strategies for school violence and optimized solutions.
Running head: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS AND SURROUNDING SCHOOL VIOLENCE 3 School Shootings & Surrounding School Violence & their Effects on Criminal Justice Agencies School violence is often overlooked due to random, yet deadly, occurrences plaguing the United States. There are many factors surrounding this issue and these issues are often argued between society and leading criminal justice agencies. There have been few research studies done on the root causes of school violence, yet it hasn't been until recently that we have found clues as to the causes and possible solutions (Luckett and Cangemi, 2020). We must first understand school shootings is a main factor of violence within schools of America. Furthermore, we must also understand other factors of violence include bullying, cyber-bulling, and even physical alterations between students, teachers, and parents are connected. It is evident that within the United States, school violence is on the rise. In addition, the social impact of school violence is profound. Just one word, as in "Columbine", can cause a heighten increase in heartrate of most parents, students, and teachers. To meet the criteria for school violence there are certain characteristics of a shooting that must be met. Generally, the shooter as some connection with the school, students, or employees. The attacks must take place on the grounds of a school, or school-related setting, and must have multiple victims (Newman, 2006). As a result, many educators and students are now faced with increased stress factors from attending schools. Law enforcement agencies are also faced with the direct brunt of this violence as the public is looking for assurance and haven for their children. New policies and procedures are being rolled out in many states however, the correlation of incidents and the lack of solutions is very evident, and changes need to be implemented.
Running head: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS AND SURROUNDING SCHOOL VIOLENCE 4 Schools were considered a haven for parents and students, however, in the recent century this has changed. No longer are our students safe from violence in a school setting and the statistics alone shows proof of this. According to Luckett and Cangemi (2020), death from school shootings within the United States are higher than the deaths of service members' deaths within the United States military. This is alarming as it sounds; as the increase toll of deaths from school shootings and school violence seems to be never ending and only accelerating. One of the earliest school shooting rampages was in 1974 when a young teenager took guns and homemade bombs to his school in New York. The teenager managed to kill at least three adults and wounded almost a dozen others (Hancock, 2001). A few years later in 1978, we find a bullied teenager as the school shooter in Michigan, and he managed to kill at least one "bully" and wounded another (Hancock, 2001). As shown in Figure 1, the average of school shootings continues to rise and puts things in perspective and certainly shows that school violence is a critical issue. Note. From "School violence: reported school shootings and making schools safer. Education," by Rosalind Duplechain and Roberts Morris, 2014, 135(2), 145+. GPS&xid=c6e03cb1
Running head: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS AND SURROUNDING SCHOOL VIOLENCE 5 Relevant social, economic, and environmental factors of this issue are affecting criminal justice agencies and the public. Law enforcement agencies, such as the police and sheriff's departments, are usually the first to respond to school shootings and incidents of school violence. Shortly after law enforcement has responded to these incidents, the media gets involved. Newspapers splash the gore of the violence in many articles for public viewing. As a result, the social impact of the shootings/violence reaches a larger audience. Many citizens then quickly try to find blame ranging from violent video games, law enforcement presence at schools, the Board of Education, and even social media (Luckett and Cangemi, 2020). Another social impact of school violence finds that most citizens are now "numb" to these incidents, and it has become a normality. Some of these citizens are within our law enforcement agencies causing a relax in response and policies. Economic impacts from this ongoing issue seems to be on a wide spectrum. We find first the lack of law enforcement presence at schools as a two-edge blade of social divide. As many may recall with the recent events with police brutality, we find that most law enforcement presence is almost nil in the school setting. Campaigns of "Defund" the police are in high demand and as a result most local criminal justice authorities are defunding the programs in place that help protect students and employees (Shannon, 2020). Heise and Nance (2021) stated that the defunding of police generally involves the "school-to-prison" pipeline research that is gaining widespread traction among the public. This dividing factor among the public shows the stance against "policing" in schools due to the new era of legalizing the discipline for students. This research shows that most students are conditioned, based on law enforcement presence in their schools, and treated like adults in a school setting. This causes quicker elevation of the bad "rep" of law enforcement in the minds of the youth. "School-to-prison" pipeline research also
Running head: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS AND SURROUNDING SCHOOL VIOLENCE 6 has viable evidence to show the disproportionate rate between policies and procedures for students of minorities and low-incoming housing (Heise and Nance, 2021). As a result, the funding from the Department of Justice, funds that use to be allocated for programs such as School Safety Officers, are now being rescinded. For example, school boards in states such as Washington, Oregon and Virginia have made changes to either cancel or suspend contracts with local law enforcement (Shannon, 2020). According to Bliztman (2021) some states completely amended laws that ended mandatory police in schools. Massachusetts now allows for the decision of discretionary operation of officers to be decided by school superintendents (Bliztman, 2021). This in turns leads to a prevalent environmental factor of school violence, higher crime rates in the surrounding areas due to no law enforcement presence. In 2008, Casteel and Limbos stated that the results from their study showed that there was a direct correlation between these two environmental attributes. Less law enforcement presence in the surrounding areas and inside schools, coupled with standard issues such as low-income areas and neighborhood dilapidation, are showing to have a direct impact on school violence (Casteel and Limbos, 2008). Effective strategies are somewhat being implemented in hopes to curb school violence and school shootings. In the article by Heise and Nance (2021), their research critique of Student Resources Officers (SROs) shows that the more of a presence of SROs, the more likely the presence of law enforcement. This has to do with the correlation of events from a school violence incident to the policies that SROs follow. These steps include a new incident, direct contact with law enforcement, and then resolution of incident. It is more complex, however, Heise and Nance (2021) claims that each school type is different however with better training from law
Running head: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS AND SURROUNDING SCHOOL VIOLENCE 7 enforcement officials and school employees, schools can become safe again. In the article by Appel (2018) the new legislation of Gun Control References Appel, D. (2018). Arm teachers with mental health providers. Family Practice News, 48(7), 17. GPS&xid=047d2605 Blitzman, J. (2021). Shutting Down the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Human Rights, 47(1), 20. GPS&xid=207a9319 Duplechain, R., & Morris, R. (2014). School violence: reported school shootings and making schools safer. Education, 135(2), 145+. GPS&xid=c6e03cb1
Running head: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS AND SURROUNDING SCHOOL VIOLENCE 8 Goral, T. (2018). A rational approach to ending gun violence: Don't 'harden' schools. Make them softer, by improving social and emotional health. District Administration, 54(6), 14+. GPS&xid=2bfb5c73 Hancock, L. (2001). The School Shootings: Why Context Counts. Columbia Journalism Review, 40(1), 76. u=22417_vcpl&sid=bookmark-GPS&xid=84246f83 Heise, M., & Nance, J. P. (2021). CRIMINOLOGY: "DEFUND THE (SCHOOL) POLICE"? BRINGING DATA TO KEY SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE CLAIMS. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 111(3), 717+. GPS&xid=f59ce099 Limbos MA, Casteel C. Schools and neighborhoods: organizational and environmental factors associated with crime in secondary schools. J Sch Health. 2008 Oct;78(10):539-44; quiz 569-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2008.00341.x. PMID: 18808473. Luckett, J. M., & Cangemi, J. P. (2020). CAUSES OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS: IS THERE A SINGLE FACTOR? College Student Journal, 54(3), 371+. GPS&xid=85984050 Newman, K. S. (2006). School Shootings Are a Serious Problem. In S. Hunnicutt (Ed.), At Issue. School Shootings. Greenhaven Press. GPS&xid=245fd5bc
Running head: SCHOOL SHOOTINGS AND SURROUNDING SCHOOL VIOLENCE 9 Phipps, G. (2015). Constructing masks of hypermasculinity: the depiction of rampage school shootings in Contemporary American novels. Studies in the Novel, 47(1), 99+. GPS&xid=efdc602c Shannon, C. (2020). Ending School Contracts with Law Enforcement. Human Rights, 46(2), 19. GPS&xid=2d142ca5 Stoikovic, S., Kalinich, D. & Klofas, J. (2015). Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration and Management. Cengage Learning.
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