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Sunday, 25th October 2009

New Study Finds State Definition of Dangerous Schools is a Flawed Measure of School Safety

New Study Finds State Definition of Dangerous Schools is a Flawed Measure of School Safety
Source: Pacific Research Institute

he Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a free-market think tank based in California, found that ninety percent of California students currently attend schools with reported incidents of violence, physical injuries or weapons that resulted in disciplinary actions.

Not as Safe as You Think, by Vicki E. Murray, Ph.D., and Evelyn Stacey, analyzes current California safe schools policy. All students have the inalienable right to attend schools that are “safe, secure and peaceful” according to the California Constitution. Yet the definition of persistently dangerous schools devised by the state as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act is so narrow that not one of California’s more than 9,000 public schools has ever been deemed unsafe.

Under current state law, it takes a minimum of three years for any public school to be considered dangerous, and only if specified violations occur under certain conditions, and those violations result in a specified proportion of disciplinary actions. “California parents should not have to wait for years at a time before the state grants their children access to safe, secure, and peaceful schools,” said Dr. Murray. “Most important, students should not have to be victimized before their parents can take decisive action.”

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