According to this report, Virginia middle school students and their teachers and staff reported that their schools are safe and supportive places for learning. Students consistently described supportive relationships with their teachers and positive feelings toward their school. Both students and teachers reported that they feel physically safe at school, but many students reported problems with bullying, teasing, and other forms of peer aggression. Students endorsed bullying as a greater problem than teachers and staff; however, this may be due in part to the reluctance of students to tell adults about incidents of bullying. Teachers and staff reported that their students generally treated them with respect, but more than half had experienced a student who said mean or insulting things to them at least once during the school year and a smaller percentage reported being threatened or physically attacked. One area of concern is that teachers have mixed views of the consistency and effectiveness of school discipline. Another concern is that many teachers reported not knowing about the student threat assessment process in their school. The individual school survey reports prepared for each school can provide a springboard for examination and discussion of these issues as part of the school improvement process.
Cornell, D., Huang, F., Konold, T., Jia, Y., Malone, M., Burnette, A. G., Datta, P., Meyer, P., Stohlman, S., & Maeng, J. (2017). Technical report of the Virginia secondary school climate survey: 2017 results for 6th–8th grade students and school staff. Charlottesville, VA: Curry School of Education, University of Virginia. https://curry.virginia.edu/uploads/resourceLibrary/2017_Middle_School_Climate_Survey_Technical_Report_completed_6-26-17.pdf