Sunday, June 22, 2014

The 2013 U.S. School Crime Report Just Released by the US Departments of Education and Justice

And Another School Shooting Death to End the School Year  

No School in America is Immune from School Violence--  Making Schools Safer during the Summer, so They are Safe in the Fall

Dear Colleagues,

    Today's Focus:   

Another Shooting Victim, and the 2013 National School Crime and Safety Report Just Released  

   It's been an interesting, but tragic, two weeks.

   Just as I finished working with eight school districts around the country on their School Climate Transformation grants, and turned my attention to a new federal grant to implement Positive Behavioral Support Systems in 80 schools around the country, I received two pieces of news.

   The first piece of news was of yet another end-of-the-year (not that they don't occur almost year-round now) school shooting (and student death) just outside of Portland, OR- - in the state's second high school. According to CNN, since the December, 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, there have been 74 school shootings.

   The second piece of news involved the release, by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, of the Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2013 report. This report noted that- - while large-scale and dramatic acts of school violence have increased the public's concern about safety concerns in U.S. schools- - violent deaths at school remain statistically rare.

   I guess you will have to explain that to the victims (fatally, physically, and emotionally) of the 74 school shootings that have occurred in the past 18 months.


   According to the Report:

   * In 2012, students ages 12-18 were victims of about 1,364,900 nonfatal victimizations at school, including 615,600 thefts and 749,200 violent victimizations.

   * The rates of non-fatal victimization at school for students 12-18 increased from 35 victimizations per 1,000 students in 2010 to 52 victimizations per 1,000 students in 2012.

   * In 2011-12, about 38 percent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that student misbehavior interfered with their teaching, and 35 percent reported that student tardiness and class cutting interfered with their teaching.

   * In 2011, about 28 percent of 12- to 18-year-old students reported having been bullied at school during the school year and 9 percent reported having been cyber-bullied. 

   * During the 2011-12 school year, 88 percent of public schools reported that they controlled access to school buildings by locking or monitoring doors during school hours, and 64 percent reported that they used security cameras to monitor the school.
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   While, statistically, some of these numbers reflect decreases in some of these incidents over time, we all know that these numbers fluctuate, and that-regardless of any decreases-these numbers reflect an ongoing problem in our schools.
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There are No Easy Answers, but There are Resources Available

   One of the free resources on our website is:

The School Safety Audit and Emergency/Crisis Prevention Audit Protocols 

This brief document emphasizes the importance of conducting periodic "School Safety Audits" of the classrooms and common areas of a school (e.g., hallways, bathrooms, playgrounds), and provides an outline of what specifically needs to be analyzed. The document also provides an "Emergency Operations Handbook" outline, and notes that schools need to plan for three types of crises:   Crises with Advanced Notice, with Minimal Notice, and with No Notice.

   (Go to the middle of the webpage)

   With the students now gone for summer break, this is a perfect time to do a school safety audit, and review your emergency plan and operations handbook. Hopefully, the time that you invest now will pay dividends in a safer school and student body for the coming school year.
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Another Resource

Project ACHIEVE PBIS/School Discipline Planning and Implementation Guidebook (FREE)
   For almost 30 years and across the country, we have been helping schools and districts with approaches that-- when implemented correctly and in a sustained way-- have successfully improved school climate and safety, classroom management and engagement, and students' prosocial and academic outcomes.

   These approaches also have been used--over the past decade--with the Arkansas Department of Education through its State Improvement/Personnel Development Grant (SIG/SPDG) with significantly positive results relative to positive school climate, student classroom engagement, disproportionate office discipline referrals and school suspensions, and academic achievement.

   To help you understand these evidence-based approaches, we hope you will download the FREE Positive Behavioral Support System Implementation Guidebook that is available to you. 

(Click on the Link below;  Find the document titled:  PBSS School Implement Fact Sheet)    

   This recently updated 100+ page resource has the following sections:

   * The Components of an Effective Positive  
        Behavioral Support System (PBSS)
   * A Step-by-Step PBSS Implementation Blueprint
   * Professional Development Approaches and  
   * Evaluation and Outcomes
   * Appendices

As always, if you would like a free, one-hour telephone conference call to ask questions about implementing this document or process, please feel free to e-mail me: 
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   I hope that you will download and read the new School Crime and Safety Report, and I invite you to look at the Project ACHIEVE resources above as you look to make your school and district safer this coming year. 

   Well. . . I'm off to look at this next school safety grant.  Best wishes for a successful, safe, and productive June.

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