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School Violence and Gangs Our nations schools once a protected haven for learning and growth are no longer safe for teachers or students in many of our nations communities From overt violent acts such as homicide and assaults to concealed crimes such as child sexual abuse violence in schools affects everyone teachers parents children and the whole community Victims of violent crime in the school like victims elsewhere may suffer physical ailments withdrawal from peer relations and display indifference to learning They also may be more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs which contributes to lack of learning growth and development Today the problems in our schools are firearms weapons substance abuse and gangs Many people equate school violence with large urban areas however violence has invaded suburban and rural schools as well Not only public schools but private schools are also involved Guns in schools have increased to the point that approximately one in four major school districts now use metal detectors to reduce the number of weapons brought into schools by students Wheeler Baron 1993 The juvenile offenders who are arrested for weapons violations are sometimes fellow students and other times non-student peers who threaten and attack students administrators and teachers According to a 1994 survey conducted by the National Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education almost one in thirteen 74 of all high school students carried a gun to school in 1993-1994 and 35 percent 35 threatened to harm another student or a teacher Manning 1994 According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control guns claimed the lives of 88 percent 88 of the 15 to 19 year old homicide victims in 1991 and researchers attribute this high percentage to the increased use of guns instead of fists to settle arguments Hostetler 1994 Gun violence among juveniles also causes countless injuries and disabilities Research by the National Association of Childrens
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