Indiscipline and Safety in Public Schools: Teachers and Principals at Odds

Athanase Gahungu

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This report summarizes analyses of survey responses of approximately 101,310 teachers and principals who, between 1999-00 and 2011-12, answered the School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS) and the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), two national surveys. Their responses to most recurrent discipline incidents and to most serious problems facing schools were cross-referenced with their responses to safety initiatives, programs, and other practices that were implemented to curb indiscipline and crime. The findings reflect efforts underway nationwide to transition from zero tolerance policies to non-retributive, non-exclusionary discipline practices. For teachers, indiscipline incidents and major problems facing schools continue plaguing schools, and increasingly put their careers at risk. By contrast, compliance requirements of the transition period seem to have pushed principals to under-report the incidents and problems. It appears that a genuine dialogue is needed between administrators and teachers to agree on the overarching implications of indiscipline and safety in schools. Non-retributive and non-exclusionary discipline policies can only be effectively implemented when teachers and administrators are equally committed to their success, and when parents and students are provided opportunities to support initiatives.


Discipline; Safety; Survey

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Gahungu, A. (2018). Indiscipline and safety in public schools: Teachers and principals at odds. International Journal of Research in Education and Science (IJRES), 4(2), 375-390. DOI:10.21890/ijres.409267


Copyright (c) 2018 International Journal of Research in Education and Science




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Place of Publication: Turkey & Name of Publisher: Ismail Sahin