In the last decade, school violence cases have drastically increased. Between 1997 and 1999, there was a rash of school shootings, the most notable occurring at West Paducah, Jonesboro, and Columbine. These examples are just a few instances in the long list of tragedy that occurs in the school setting. There is a broad spectrum of school violence and misconduct that keep school officials on alert: handbook violations, drug use, harassment, bullying, fighting and school shootings. With school violence on the increase, administrators are forced to re-evaluate school policies to ensure safety and security for the students and staff members. The National Education Association (NEA) supports policies developed by states, districts and schools to effectively address bullying and harassment that lead to school violence (NEA, 2002-2010).
Although some officials feel that a zero-tolerance stance is the most effective means to combating bullying and harassment in the school setting, the NEA takes the position of educating school officials, parents, community members, and students on the effects of bullying and harassment. In an attempt to reduce bullying and harassment, the NEA works to promote school safety by presenting strategies to “reduce and eliminate bullying and harassment; expand access to counseling, anger management and peer mediation; provide ways for students to communicate with adults about rumors and threats; and develop instruction that teaches values like respect and responsibility” (NEA, 2002-2010).
The school environment is one of the safest environments for children today. Students should feel comfortable coming to school and should be allowed to learn in an environment free for intimidation and fear. The NEA agrees with this statement and supports legislation requiring states, districts, and schools to adopt plans to prevent and respond to bullying and harassment incidents.
NEA. (2002-2010). School...