Rural Trust Releases Special Report on School Violence

School Violence ReportViolence in U.S. K-12 Schools, 1974–2013: Patterns in Deadly Incidents and Mass Threat, a 2013 report from the Rural School and Community Trust, presents information gathered from some 700 media accounts of specific incidents of violence in schools since 1974.

Among these incidents, the Rural Trust found 80 accounts of mass violence, claiming 155 lives Although mass violence events capture more media attention, the report finds three times more deaths in one-on-one incidents. Overall, students were the most frequent perpetrators and victims of violence in schools. Only in elementary schools did adult intruders constitute a significant percentage of violent actors.

These numbers corroborate other evidence that schools can significantly reduce violence by developing positive environments that engage everyone in meaningful work and help students learn to prevent, resolve, and manage conflict.

The report underscores the need for more and better information about violence in the U.S. and about the practices and policies that will reduce the likelihood that anyone will be victimized at school or school functions.

In this regard, the Rural Trust hopes this report will help bring a rural perspective to policy debates about safety, guns, and violence in the U.S. These are important conversations that need the authentic engagement of all Americans.

The report can be viewed online or downloaded as a high-resolution print-ready PDF at the Rural Trust website.

“Purposeful Field Trips” May Be Good For At-Risk Rural Students

Field trips alone hardly constitute place-based education, but they often are integral parts of place-based efforts and on their own, field trips represent an excellent way of introducing students to their community.

Education Week’s Diette Courrege highlights a study on this subject in this Rural Education blog.  The study, Describing Connections between Science Content and Future Careers: Implementing Texas Curriculum for Rural At-Risk High School Students Using Purposefully-Designed Field Trips" was published in the fall issue of The Rural Educator, the peer-reviewed professional publication of the National Rural Education Association.

Place-Based Learning Offers Opportunities for High-Poverty Rural Schools

Place-Based Learning (PBL) can be a powerful tool to improve student achievement and strengthen the local community, but what exactly is it?

“Place based learning takes the real world around the school — the community — and turns it into a 21st century learning laboratory,” explains Margaret Maclean, Project Coordinator/Trainer for the Rural Trust. “Students learn skills and concepts while learning about and contributing to their place. By working on things like oral histories, water quality studies, community gardens, or student-led community tax centers, students are active learners, engaged and making a difference.”

Read more: Place-Based Learning Offers Opportunities for High-Poverty Rural Schools