School personnel perceptions of the effects of gangs, violence, and safety in the high schools of the Metropolitan Nashville Public School District

Jamie S Jenkins, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The goal of this research study was to determine if the perceptions of school personnel differed by school, gender, ethnicity, years of experience, current position, and position type regarding gangs, violence, and safety in the Metro Nashville Public high schools. School B differed from the other schools on each of the four subscales of gangs, violence, safety, and changes in violence in the past 12 months. Further, it was found that school resource officers consistently differed from the other personnel groups. Among the ethnic groups, differences existed regarding gang activity, violence, and changes in violence in the past 12 months. This study concluded that there were many explanations for why students are violent, with the most influential reasons starting at home, such as lack of parental involvement and supervision and a lack of structure in the home. Finally, some similarities between school disciplinary infractions and crime in the community were noted. ^ Based on the findings of this study the need for the following was concluded: (1) Conduct more wide-reaching intense staff development for all building level staff members to aid in their awareness of the culture of violence and gangs. This information should focus on the most current information regarding gangs and violence. (2) Conduct staff development workshops on how to increase safety in the schools. (3) Develop programs that target student populations that are at-risk of gang involvement and/or violent behaviors. These programs should focus on mediation strategies, as well as boosting self-worth and self esteem. It would certainly be beneficial to start these programs at the elementary and middle school levels. (4) Conduct a series of community seminars led by school leaders and community professionals who are considered experts on the topics of juvenile behaviors, safety, conflict resolution, and parenting skills. ^

Subject Area

Education, Sociology of|Education, Administration|Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

Jamie S Jenkins, "School personnel perceptions of the effects of gangs, violence, and safety in the high schools of the Metropolitan Nashville Public School District" (2004). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3141935.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3141935

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