Student Safety

Recent evidence suggests that schools with strong student support and consistent, fair discipline, known as an authoritative school climate, also have lower rates of victimization and bullying. In this study, we extend the literature on authoritative school climate and school safety by investigating if students in schools with an authoritative school climate feel safer, a distinct outcome from victimization and bullying, than at schools with less authoritative school climate indicators. With data from two nationally representative datasets, we use path analysis to examine the direct relationship between authoritative school climate and feelings of safety and the mediating influence of victimization. We find that authoritative school climate is associated with higher levels of feelings of safety at school. Analysis from the one dataset indicates that this relationship is fully mediated through reduced victimization while the analysis of the other finds about a third of the relationship is mediated through reduced victimization.