The Origins of School Violence
by Sean M. Brooks, Ph.D.
PIL Publishing

"The purpose of this case study was to understand urban high school educators’ perceptions and experiences with conflict resolution and violence prevention within their pre-service and in-service education."

At a time when school violence is on the rise and solutions are sought by a society reeling from its effects, Brooks examines the problem through existing research, a case study, and rigorous analysis. He concludes that teachers are ill-prepared despite pre-service teacher training programs and professional development to manage the conflict and violence inherent in the modern-day classroom.

Filled with documented research from the field and a detailed explanation of a case study, Brooks illuminates the need for teachers to be trained and prepared for students entering the classroom with a host of mental health issues that can lead to conflict and violence. In the style of a dissertation, Brooks focuses on proving that teachers need more training, but he does not provide a way forward with specific strategies for preparing teachers more effectively. This is not a book of solutions or a toolbox for teachers in need of classroom management strategies. Brooks uses his voice as a call to action by making the problem clear and the issues plain, for “the presence of conflict and violence in school is undeniable.”

The voices of teachers add impact to the cause as they recount in their own powerful words the struggles they face in the classroom and the realities of ineffective training and wasteful professional development. By uncovering the failures of schools to prepare teachers to face the crisis of conflict and violence in our schools, Brooks contributes to the ongoing discussion of transformation in our schools for students and for the educators tasked with keeping them safe. Brooks clearly emphasizes prevention as a valid and critical response to the current climate of violence based on his exhaustive research and investigation of educators’ experiences.

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