Glenn W. Muschert & Anthony A. Peguero
Experts once defined school violence conventionally as a serious crime (i.e., murder, rape, assault, robbery, and theft) that occurred on school grounds. However, as social and political awareness focused more rigorously on investigating the phenomenon of school violence, the definition of school violence expanded. The broadened definition rested on research indicating that the threshold for injury for children is much lower than for adults. Compared to adults, children have less emotional maturity and physical ability to defend themselves, making them more vulnerable to emotional, mental, and physical injury. Therefore, even minimal exposure to violence in a school setting may have lasting detrimental effects on a child's development. Traditionally, peer harassment (physical and verbal), sexual harassment, bullying, and fear were accepted as school cultural norms. However, such behaviors are becoming less accepted as a normal part of the “school experience.” Detrimental developmental and educational outcomes occur for students who endure school ...