Tuesday, January 6, 2009

school programs

Many schools have violence prevention policies/programs in place. Juvonen (2002) has identified over 200 institutional programs. However, many programs have not had the desired outcome.

Sprague and Walker (2002) have identified at least 8 school practices that contribute to the problem of youth violence in school. One of the reasons for unhappy outcomes is the long history of schools implementing unproved programs and methods.

There is a lack of good research supporting successful methods, forcing schools to implement "promising" ideas to satisfy the demands of communities and parents to do something about school violence (TIUE, 1998; Sherman, 1998; Cornell, 1999; Whaler, Fetsch, & Silliman, 1997).

Kimberling and Wantland (2002) have identified another reason for program failure as inadequate school staff development. Inadequate staff development fails to allow for adequate implementation and maintenance of any program.

In addition, the tendency to punish those involved in bullying situations, especially the old "zero-tolerance" policies, have acted to distract schools from active prevention efforts (Prothrow-Stith, in Zehr, 2001; Sprague & Walker, 2002).

I would suggest that part of the problem is the lack of accountability. Just because a school has a program "in place" does not mean that there is motivation for its success, accountability for its consistent implementation and follow-up with its results.

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