Award Date

12-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Gene Hall

Second Committee Member

Teresa Jordan

Third Committee Member

Linda Quinn

Fourth Committee Member

James Crawford

Number of Pages

98

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Educational problems are many and varied. At-risk students, achievement gaps and poor student outcomes are hot topics that beg for improvement in equity across the board and stand in the way of achieving excellence. These educative, albeit, social justice issues are not new, but rather, are old problems revisited (Kaestle, 1983; Morrison, 2003). Additionally, the issue of violence in schools is also recognized as not only a social justice problem but also a public health problem (Mercy & O'Carroll, 1988) and is perhaps the most pressing societal issue related to children and youth today. "Safe schools are the concern of communities throughout the world...and the protection of children in schools is a constant challenge for societies around the world," (Rosiak, J., 2009, p.1). Violence in schools is a complex issue: student's assault teachers, strangers harm children, students hurt each other, and any one of the parties may come to school already damaged or violated. The kind of violence an individual encounters is widespread, "theft, bullying, drugs, and weapons in school" (Dinkes, R., Kemp, J., Baum K., Snyder, T., 2009 p.3) including rape and murder. School professionals, parents, and citizens alike are alarmed by the apparent level of violent acts that plague our school communities.

The notion that schools should be safe havens is a concept that has found support in law throughout the history of public schools. For teachers to teach and children to learn, there must be a safe and inviting learning environment. Students and school personnel need a secure environment, free from the danger and threat of violence and harm, drug use, and lack of discipline, in order to ensure that all children achieve to their full potential.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate a program that focused on ensuring such a safe haven for school children; the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's School Violence Initiative. The program evaluation methodology used both qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate program effectiveness. Results of the program evaluation revealed strengthening of partner relationships between the LVMPD and Clark County School District Police Department (CCSDPD), a reduction of 28% in reported incidences of violence, 68% reduction in handguns on campuses, and a 26% reduction in knives. Prior to the program's inception there were 12 shootings of students over a twelve year period. Since the program's inception there have been no shootings of students reported.

Keywords

Law enforcement; Partnerships; Police; School police; School safety; School violence; Social justice; Violence

Disciplines

Education | Law Enforcement and Corrections

Language

English


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