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School Crime and Violence

  1. Richard Stansfield

Published Online: 22 JAN 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118517383.wbeccj028

The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

How to Cite

Stansfield, R. 2014. School Crime and Violence. The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. 1–5.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 22 JAN 2014


Crime and violence are problems that affect virtually every school to some degree or other. In the aftermath of highly publicized school shootings, the perception of imminent danger in the classroom has become commonplace in communities across the United States. Despite the attention paid to mass shootings, weapons, and gangs in schools, students are far more likely to encounter nonlethal violence. School shootings, weapon carrying, and school violence in general have been in decline for a number of years. Nevertheless, as a broad response to low confidence in public school systems, and a more generalized fear of disorder, school security programs have undergone radical change in recent years. Amidst tighter security and strict rule enforcement, disciplinary matters have come to be handled more formally under a zero-tolerance policy. School violence is undoubtedly a persistent social problem, and measures to ensure safety must be taken. An important step towards this, however, is ensuring that such measures are based on accurate assessment of the true extent of threats to student safety.


  • bullying;
  • external risk factors;
  • internal risk factors;
  • National Center for Education Statistics;
  • school climate;
  • school crime;
  • security resource officers;
  • social control theory;
  • violent deaths;
  • zero-tolerance policy