As we learn in the readings, media reports of school crime tend to create misconceptions of a danger that is actually quite small for the overwhelming majority of school users. In fact, given the number of students, teachers, and other personnel in schools on any given day, it is quite astounding how few violent episodes there are. To track violence in schools, read the US Department of Justice and US Department of Education report, Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2011. After reading the report, please address each of the following:
- What statistic in the report surprised you about school crime and safety? Please refer to a specific statistic found on the site and cite it properly. Tell us why this statistic surprised you, confirmed your belief, etc.
- In 81% of violent, targeted school attacks, at least one person knew someone was conceiving of or planning an attack. In most cases no one came forward with this information. Why might someone hesitate to come forward?
- What are some significant differences between school shootings and mass shootings in the general population (for example, the Colorado movie theatre shooting or the Orlando nightclub shooting)?
- Discuss the challenges inherent in preventing mass shootings in schools, the workplace, and the general public. Are there any proven strategies to help control this type of violence?
- What ideological differences might interfere with making meaningful criminal justice reform to prevent mass shootings?
- What are some other barriers to criminal justice reform?