• Robin Lyons

Bullying and School Violence


Daily, school staff must deal with bullying, harassment, and discipline issues. Too often, bullying can push kids to retaliate with violence and self-destruction. What can schools do? More.


According to the National Institute of Justice, nearly 100% of schools serving children between the ages of 12-18 use at least one of the following safety/security measures:

  • Locking doors

  • Security cameras

  • Hallway supervision

  • Controlled building access

  • Locker checks

  • Metal detectors

Why aren’t schools using all the above safety/security measures? It’s simple—money. It’s a step in the right direction if your child’s school has more than one improvement to security.

Why Not Metal Detectors?

Many parents oppose metal detectors because they don’t want schools to look like prisons. Nobody equates the security at an airport or at a court house as prison-like. Most people appreciate the extra safety measures.


Before schools could use metal detectors as a standard screening tool, there would be some difficulties to work out. The time to funnel students and staff through would be at the top of the list. However, these obstacles can be worked out.


Just like we all arrive at airports early to get through the screening precautions, so could students. I can already hear the naysayers asking what they're supposed to do with the early birds after they’ve been screened and before classes begin. Students could do extra work to improve their grades, get tutoring, read for pleasure (love this idea!), etc.


Also from the National Institute of Justice: In 2019/2020 (shortened in-person school year due to COVID19), schools reported 48 school shootings with injuries only and 27 school shootings with deaths.


The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institute that uses rigorous, fact-based research and analysis to help individuals, families, and communities throughout the world be safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. Here’s a snippet of what they’ve learned about school safety:


Four Lessons Learned from Implementing a Social and Emotional Learning Program to Enhance School Safety


Challenges in Implementing Physical Security Measures in K–12 Schools


There is another less punitive and less costly method that can help make schools safer by reducing school violence. Restorative Justice. Students participate in a peacemaking system. Imagine a bully facing a panel of peers to justify his/her bullying behavior.


The first report linked below is about Restorative Justice from We Are Teachers. They mention the Oakland Unified School regarding their success using Restorative Justice. The second link will take you to the Oakland Unified School District’s Restorative Justice Program.


What Teachers Need to Know About Restorative Justice


Restorative Justice at Oakland Unified School District


What grade would you give your community schools on school safety? #schoolsafety #schoolviolence


Be sure to email me if you hear of a true-crime you think would be good in a book. I’ll research it, share it and possibly use it in one of my novels.


And if you are an author interested in true-crimes as inspiration for a plot, email me. I’m happy to share more information about this case.


Source: National Institute of Justice, RAND Corp., We Are Teachers, Oakland Unified School District

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