Violent writing : a quantitative examination of an unexplored high school phenomenon

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lori Dawn Brown (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Frederick Buskey

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the phenomenon of violent writing in the high school English classroom. A non-experimental research design utilizing a new survey instrument guided the process of collecting data across three areas of interest: frequency, teacher response, and teacher perception of preparedness to respond. A new definition and typology consisting of seven categories for the construct of violent writing served as the foundation of the survey creation process. The study was conducted with North Carolina 9th-12th grade public school English teachers (target population = 4,290). English as a Second Language, private, and charter school teachers were exempted from the study. Simple random sampling was used to create a sample of 351 North Carolina High School English teachers; 87 of whom completed the survey (response rate of 24%). Survey questions focused teachers on a “typical school year.” Data revealed that violent writing is encountered but at minimal levels, with most respondents selecting “zero” (29%-90% of respondents) or between1-5 examples (10%-63% of respondents) encountered in any given category in a typical year. The most commonly selected responses included communication with the student (22%-56% of respondents) or contacting a counselor or other mental health provider (7%-58%). When asked about preparedness, between 35%-52% of respondents across the categories indicated feeling fairly well prepared to respond, although a respectable percentage indicated negative levels of preparedness. Recommendations for future research include the need to expand research through qualitative research methods that consider greater teacher, student, and cross-curricular and grade level input.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
English Teachers, High School, Secondary, Threat Assessment, Violent Writing
High school students' writings, American -- North Carolina
School violence -- North Carolina -- Prevention

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