How safe are our schools?

Matthew J. Mayer, Michael J. Furlong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Schools are basically safe places for children. School violence and disruption, although in decline through the mid- to late 1990s, remains a concern. National surveys that inform research, policy, and practice have been designed for different purposes and can present conflicting findings. Common standards of risk and harm that could advance policy and practice are lacking. Progress in the field of school safety has been hindered by the lack of a coherent conceptual structure to guide measurement and research. This article identifies some of the conceptual and methodological challenges that must be addressed and calls for a 10-year national strategic plan to improve school safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-26
Number of pages11
JournalEducational Researcher
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


  • At-risk students
  • School psychology
  • Student behavior/attitude
  • Violence


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