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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a public health prevention perspective that goes beyond the usual policy responses to the tragic and reoccurring mass shootings of the past two decades. It is based on a theoretical framework presented in the authors’ 2005 book Bullying and School Violence in Evolving Contexts. The chapter begins with a theoretical framework that proposes new avenues for understanding and addressing the presence of weapons in schools. It defines the term “weapons in schools” to include any kind of weapon brought to school, threats or injuries with weapons, and even seeing or knowing of another student on school grounds is carrying a weapon. In terms of policy responses, the chapter offers ways to balance educational and justice system (penal) responses. Finally, based on the authors’ theoretical model and public health perspective, it presents detailed policy suggestions.

Keywords: gangs, prevention, public health, school to prison pipeline, school safety, school violence, weapons, zero tolerance

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