Astor Promotes Culture of Care, Safety in Schools

Professor of Social Welfare Ron Avi Astor’s new report on increasing school safety and reducing weapons on campuses was covered by KNX1070 and CBS LA. The study found that fostering supportive environments in schools plays a key role in reducing the presence of weapons and creating safe campuses. Astor and his team analyzed surveys from 890,000 California students to better understand how factors such as the level of crime in a school’s surrounding neighborhood, students’ feelings of belongingness at their school, and student relationships with teachers and staff can affect the potential for weapons-carrying and violence. They found that measures such as metal detectors, security cameras and active shooter drills increase fear of violence, diminish students’ well-being and disproportionately affect students of color. Instead, Astor proposed prioritizing a culture of care and elevating the voices of students and teachers. “We must create opportunities to hear their voices and explore local solutions that make their schools safer,” he said.

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