Schools and Youth Violence: An Examination of Local Incidents and Trends

Carl E. Pope, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Rick Lovell, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

This paper reports on the results of a five year project examining incidents of violent and disruptive behavior within the local school system of a large Midwestern city. Data collection efforts focused on a target high school and middle school and two non-equivalent comparison schools. The study involved an evalution of violence reduction programs in the two target schools. The methodology included an analysis of school reported incidents, municipal citations and arrests as reported by school squad police officers, surveys of both student and teachers as well as student and teacher focus groups. The results demonstrate that school incidents are not as violent nor serious as public and political perceptions would lead one to believe. Further, police response is an effective strategy for dealing with delinquent behaviors which do occur within or near schools.

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Updated 05/20/2006