Teachers' perceptions of school violence

J Pediatr Health Care. 2003 Mar-Apr;17(2):79-83. doi: 10.1067/mph.2003.20.


Introduction: Pediatric nurse practitioners, especially those working in the school settings, often interact with children and teachers who confront school violence. This descriptive study was conducted to obtain teachers' insights into the problems of school violence.

Method: Voluntary questionnaire surveys were distributed to 536 elementary, middle, and high school teachers in a suburban school district in central Pennsylvania. Seventy-four percent returned usable surveys (n = 393). Data were tabulated and results are presented as percentages, frequencies, and chi-square analysis.

Results: Fifty-six percent of teachers believed that violence or the threat of violence had a direct impact on the quality of education they are able to provide. Elementary school teachers were more likely to be victims of a physical assault by a student (P =.0006) and more likely to fear parents (P =.002) than were other teachers.

Discussion: Even in suburban schools, teachers are likely to be victimized and fear students or their parents. This fear adversely affects the quality of education provided. Pediatric nurse practitioners play a significant role in addressing this public health concern.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Child Welfare
  • Faculty*
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurse's Role
  • Occupational Health
  • Parents / psychology
  • Pediatric Nursing / methods
  • Pennsylvania
  • Quality of Life
  • Schools*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence* / prevention & control
  • Violence* / psychology
  • Violence* / statistics & numerical data