Existing literature demonstrates that violence, particularly youth violence, can be prevented and as a result, many prevention programs are employed in school settings. Among the approaches to school violence prevention are zero tolerance policies. These harsh policy measures increasingly prove unsuccessful in reducing school violence, show negative impacts on school climate, and are disproportionately applied to underrepresented minorities. This growing evidence led many schools to explore other avenues of violence prevention through restorative practices and incorporating social-emotional learning (SEL) into the curriculum. However, present literature specific to SEL programs tend to focus only on impacts on academic achievement and learning. The present study will add to this growing literature on the impact of SEL programs by examining school violence and examining the extent to which schools use restorative practices as an alternative to exclusionary discipline practices. This study uses school-level data from the 2015-16 school year obtained from the US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, School Survey on Crime and Safety. Using a negative binomial regression this study examines the impact of several school violence prevention programs on the total number of violent and criminal incidents occurring at school. Ordered logistic regression is then used to examine the sensitivity of the results to the measurement of the dependent variable. Results from the study did not show significant reductions in school violence when social emotional learning programs were present; however, several takeaways are presented on exploring alternative strategies to reducing violence, improving the school environment, or meeting state or federal guidelines. There is no one size fits all approach to reducing school violence, especially since each school environment is different. One key conclusion from this paper is that restorative practices and social emotional learning are under-utilized and offer opportunities for decision makers to explore.
|Advisor:||Morrison, Donna R.|
|Department:||Public Policy & Policy Management|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||MAI 81/12(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education Policy, Education, Educational psychology, Personality psychology, Educational sociology|
|Keywords:||k-12 education, Restorative practice, School violence prevention, Social emotional learning|
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