Walker, H. M., Irvin, L. K., & Sprague, J. R. (1997). Violence Prevention and School Safety: Issues, Problems, Approaches, and Recommended Solutions. Oregon School Study Council Bulletin , 41 (1), Fall. 


This document addresses the twin issues of youth violence and school safety. Violence from the larger society has spilled over into our schools in ways that can make them unsafe, and school safety has emerged as a pressing concern of public schools. Violence within the context of schooling is expressed in extreme forms of reactive and proactive aggression, antisocial behavior patterns and oppositional-defiant behavior. Schools are highly vulnerable to the damaging effects of these student behaviors and often must take radical steps to prevent, control and offset their toxic effects.

Herein, we deal with key issues, problems, approaches and recommended solutions to these challenges to the schooling process. In addition, we recommend additional resources to establish and maintain a safe school environment and teach all students how to resolve conflicts peacefully, express empathy, develop friendships and positive relationships with others, regulate one's behavior and accept the consequences of one's actions. It is essential that schools take steps to address two key goals in making the school safe: 1) to insure that the physical facility is designed appropriately and that the school environment is supervised carefully and 2) to establish a safe, positive, inclusive and academically effective school environment. Achievement of these two goals will make it possible for schools to again become safe havens in which to teach and socialize our children.