Bill Gastic and Josephine Ann Gasiewski
Despite its flaws, the USCO created the conditions for an unprecedented national statement on school safety. This study asks: How do states conceptualize school safety? While critics have denounced the dizzying assortment of states’ persistently dangerous criteria, we argue that these differences have been grossly exaggerated. We contend that states’ shared orientations toward school safety can be described using a risk assessment perspective. This article introduces a framework that distills school violence in terms of severity and likelihood. Using this framework, we show how all states define school safety in terms of risk – specifically, as the maximum level of risk that is acceptable at a school that can still be considered safe.
School Safety under NCLB’s Unsafe School Choice Option