Publisher description for Maximum security : the culture of violence in inner-city schools / John Devine.

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Escalations in student violence continue throughout the nation, but
inner-city schools are the hardest hit, with classrooms and corridors
infected by the anger, aggression, and criminality endemic to street
life. Technological surveillance, security personnel, and paramilitary
control tactics to maintain order and safety are the common
administrative response. Essential educational programs are routinely
slashed from school budgets, even as the number of guards, cameras, and
metal detectors continues to multiply.

Based on years of frontline experience in New York's inner-city schools,
Maximum Security demonstrates that such policing strategies are
not only ineffectual, they divorce students and teachers from their
ethical and behavioral responsibilities. Exploring the culture of
violence from within, John Devine argues that the security system, with
its uniformed officers and invasive high-tech surveillance, has assumed
presumptive authority over students' bodies and behavior, negating the
traditional roles of teachers as guardians and agents of moral
instruction. The teacher is reduced to an information bureaucrat, a
purveyor of technical knowledge, while the student's physical well-being
and ethical actions are left to the suspect scrutiny of electronic
devices and security specialists with no pedagogical mission, training,
or interest. The result is not a security system at all, but an
insidious institutional disengagement from the caring supervision of the
student body.

With uncompromising honesty, Devine provides a powerful portrayal of an
educational system in crisis and bold new insight into the malignant
culture of school violence.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: School violence United States, Urban schools United States Sociological aspects, Educational anthropology United States