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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 23 Issue 2 (1994) Introduction to Mini-Series: School V...
Volume 23, Issue 2 (1994)

Introduction to Mini-Series: School Violence and Safety in Perspective

pp. 139—150

The public seems transfixed by the spectacle of violence that occurs daily in our society. Schools, often considered safe havens, are increasingly associated with violent acts. The literature about school violence is replete with evidence that campus incidents also contribute to this pressing school problem (e.g., Harootunian & Apter, 1983). And, it is far too easy to find media portrayals of gratuitous violence occurring among youth and in our schools (e.g., Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, 1990; Hull, 1993; Kennedy, 1991). Among such notable events are Patrick Purdy’s spraying more than 100 rounds from an AK-47 at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton (resulting in 5 fatalities and 29 injuries; Smith, 1989); Kevin Newman’s shooting of four students and suicide at a Sheridan, Wyoming school (“Gunman Kills Himself,” 1993); and, what will probably become just another innocuous footnote among school violence incidents, the August 1993 carjacking/kidnap/murder of Catherine Tucker, a Long Beach school crossing guard (Helfand & Adams, 1993). We conceived this miniseries to provide school psychologists with current information about school violence and to encourage them to consider how it relates to their roles and responsibilities as educators.

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