Title

Preventing Violence and Ensuring Safety in North Carolina Schools: A Statewide Analysis

First Presenter's Institution

NC State University

Second Presenter's Institution

none

Third Presenter's Institution

none

Fourth Presenter's Institution

none

Fifth Presenter's Institution

none

Strand #1

Safety & Violence Prevention

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

This proposed presentation relates to the “HANDS: Safety and Violence Prevention” strand in that our study specifically analyzed student crime and violence statistics in North Carolina schools during the 2015-2016 school year. The presentation also pertains to the “HEAD: Academic Achievement and Leadership” strand in that a safety and violence comparison across all the traditional public schools versus charter schools in the state of North Carolina will also be prominent in the session discussion.

Brief Program Description

The objective of this presentation is to discuss a study related to the occurrence of 16 types of school crime and violence in traditional and charter schools in North Carolina. Results showed that charter schools were significantly lower in school crime and violence versus traditional public schools. The target audience includes educators and professionals concerned with school safety.

Summary

School safety is an important issue among those who operate schools, and it also applies to students who attend K-12 schools. Without a safe school environment students are at risk for not learning as they should, and school staff are likely to be distracted away from their duty to deliver effective instruction. There is widespread agreement among school leaders that ensuring classroom safety is essential, and particularly in light of the perception that children are becoming increasingly unruly and difficult to teach (Sabornie & Pennington, 2015). In today’s schools, effective safety provisions have never been more important.

Arguably, one method of changing the safety “culture” of schooling is for districts to implement charter schools. Since their launch in the U.S. in the early 1990s, many charter schools have been guided by the philosophy that improving safety in schools is a necessary and worthy goal to improve students’ academic achievement and social-emotional growth (Christensen, 2007).

The purpose of this study was to examine charter versus traditional public schools’ crime, violence, and safety in an entire U.S. state during school year 2015-2016. The major dependent variables in this study were measured by specific, recorded acts of student crime and violence committed at school, in all charter public schools (i.e., n = 157; 6.1% of all schools in the state), and traditional public schools (n = 2,438). The crime and violence at school data were made available to the researchers via a grant from the state’s Department of Public Instruction. The following research questions guided the investigation: (a) What school crime and violence rate differences (if any) exist in traditional versus charter public schools in a state public school system during the 2015-2016 school year? (b) What student demographic variables characterize traditional versus charter public schools in the state? (c) What relationship exists between school-related acts of crime and violence and the occurrence of short-term school suspensions (i.e., 10 or fewer days per incident) in traditional versus charter schools in the state?

Evidence

Study results showed significantly lower rates of crime and violence existed in charter schools (vs. traditional schools), per 1,000 students (t = 7.37, df = 1762, p = < .0001). After Bonferroni correction for multiple variable testing, additional analyses showed significantly lower rates of crime and violence in charter schools (vs. traditional schools) in seven different categories (e.g., assault on school personnel, possession of a controlled substance). Traditional public (vs. charter) schools did not show a lower rate of school crime and violence in any of the 16 categories of interest. Significantly fewer females were found in charter schools versus traditional public schools (t = 2.18, df = 175, p < .05), and males showed the same pattern (t = 3.03, df = 178, p < .001). Results from the Kruskal-Wallis test highlight the statistically significant differences across all racial groups for charter (c2 = 639.8, df = 6, p < .00001), and traditional public school attendance (c2 = 11669, df = 6, p < .00001). Except for Pacific Islanders, students of all other ethnicities attended traditional public schools at a greater number than charters. Students in charter schools experienced significantly lower rates of short-term school suspensions in comparison to those in traditional public schools (t = 6.06, df = 307, p = < .0001). Lastly, short-term suspensions (per 100 students) were correlated with total crime and violence rate (per 1,000 students) at a significant level in traditional schools (r = .14, p = < .00001), but not in charter schools (r = .006, p = .552).

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Edward J. Sabornie, Ph.D., is a Professor of Special Education at North Carolina State University. He has expertise in school and community-based treatment and education of people with high incidence disabilities such as learning disabilities, mild-moderate intellectual disability, and behavioral-emotional disabilities and disorders. Dr. Sabornie's basic science research interests and expertise include examinations of the social status of persons with high incidence disabilities, and characteristics, similarities, and differences across the categories of high incidence disabilities. He has served as co-editor and editor of the peer review journal, Exceptionality, from 1992 to 2010, and presently serves on the Editorial Boards of five international peer-review journals in education. Dr. Sabornie has published numerous articles, chapters, and a textbook (now in its 3rd edition) dealing with special education instruction in the schools, classroom and behavioral organization and management, and secondary-level special education methods and procedures. He is Co-Editor of the Handbook of Classroom Management (2015; 2nd ed.), as well as a co-author of 2 chapters in the handbook. Dr. Sabornie has served as the advisor for hundreds of graduate students seeking degrees at the Master's and doctoral levels at three different universities. In addition, he has consulted in numerous lawsuits involving children and adults with disabilities in school and in the community, and has testified in depositions and in court supporting plaintiffs as well as defendants.

Keyword Descriptors

school safety, crime, violence, charter schools, traditional public schools

Presentation Year

March 2018

Start Date

3-5-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

3-5-2018 11:45 AM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 5th, 10:30 AM Mar 5th, 11:45 AM

Preventing Violence and Ensuring Safety in North Carolina Schools: A Statewide Analysis

The objective of this presentation is to discuss a study related to the occurrence of 16 types of school crime and violence in traditional and charter schools in North Carolina. Results showed that charter schools were significantly lower in school crime and violence versus traditional public schools. The target audience includes educators and professionals concerned with school safety.