Thesis Title

Keepign Our Rural Communities Safe: A Study of Strengths an Weaknesses of a Rural Violence Prevention Program

Graduation Date

Spring 2003

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD

Abstract

Around the nation, schools are dealing with violence issues on inner city, suburban and rural campuses alike. The researcher wanted to identify how she could offer students a more safe, secure and peaceful campus which parents of the community would want their children to attend.

This study was designed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of current violence prevention curriculum ("Second Step") implemented at the researchers' rural site and to communicate identified needs to the staff and parents. There seems to be little research on the effectiveness of violence prevention programs in meeting the needs presented by the diverse dynamics of rural schools.

Material for this study was gathered through interviews, observations and informal school meetings with parents and staff of the school and community. The school site is roughly 20% Native. American, 35% Hispanic, and 45% White, or Unknown ethnicity with high, middle and low socioeconomic backgrounds.

The researcher found that the Second Step program is a comprehensive curriculum, but unfortunately at the present time there is not enough buy-in by staff nor parents. Also a serious cultural insensitivity has made this rural program less effective than it might otherwise be.

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