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This paper reports on the National Study of Delinquency Prevention in Schools, the first national study of problem behavior containing information from multiple sources -- principals, teachers, and students. Nationwide, 7% of schools or an estimated 6,451 schools reported to law enforcement personnel at least one incident of physical attack or fight with a weapon during the year. These numbers may not accurately reflect what is occurring and suggestions are giving why principals under-report crime in their schools. One such reason is that principals are reluctant to report minor crimes because of the negative image it projects. In the survey, teachers reported on victimization in schools and on classroom disorder; 27% of teachers reported that student behavior kept them from teaching a fair amount to a great deal of the time. Students reported about their own participation in a variety of delinquent behaviors and drug use and on their experiences of personal victimization. The differences among schools in the levels of problem behavior suggest efforts should focus on schools most in need of improvement. In view of the data showing little convergence between principal's reports and other indicators, it seems unwise to depend on data about behavioral disorders reported by school administrators alone. (JDM)

Descriptors: Behavior Problems, Crime, Delinquency Prevention, Elementary Secondary Education, Law Enforcement, National Surveys, Principals, School Safety, School Surveys, Student Behavior, Teachers, Violence

Autor: Gottfredson, Gary D.


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