School-Related Violence: Definition, Scope, and Prevention Goals

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The purpose of this book is to provide a compendium of papers addressing school violence and the critical ingredients in prevention interventions that contribute to reducing and/or eliminating various forms of violence in the school setting. The Center for the Prevention of School Violence developed a research-based definition of “school violence” in 1997. The definition, which emerged from a detailed microanalysis, suggests that school violence is any behavior that violates a school’s educational mission or climate of respect or jeopardizes the intent of the school to be free of aggression against persons or property, drugs, weapons, disruptions, and disorder (Center for Prevention of School Violence, 2004). School violence involves a spectrum of crimes taking place within educational institutions. Ensuring safer schools requires establishing valid and reliable indicators of the current state of school crime and safety across the nation and periodically monitoring and updating such indicators. Two decades ago, the term “school violence” itself was widely used to describe violent and aggressive acts on school campuses. Today, the definition is much broader in scope.