Discussion of the ways school contributes to or prevents delinquency by focusing on four of the following issues: achievement, dropouts; dress codes: intelligence tests; tracking; alternative schools, and school community relations. Arguments have been made, that outside of the family, school is a primary instrument for socialization.
Therefore, schools have become a central variable influencing or insulating youth from delinquency. Youth have been utilizing school and spaces in the community to converse with one another. Supporting, each other in their academic successes. Several schools in troubled districts have mandatory dress codes, for all students, which deters them from being targeted as a delinquent.
The Department of Education and the public school districts is requiring that schools administer an intelligent test, for example a GWE, or Sat. Youth’s that involve themselves in optional school-oriented activities to prevent them from engaging in delinquent activities. Evidence shows that adolescents are unsupervised after school, and before their parents return from working. This is when delinquent activities are heightened (Gottfaredson and Cross (2007). Community relations are increasing in the United States, with the aid of federal, state, and private money. For example, the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program, that provides after-school enrichment activities. This was introduced as a component of the President Clinton administration to assist families (Gottfardson et al., 2007).
Yet, President Bush Administration, also implemented a major component, No Child Left Behind, community relations, which has a positive impact among youths. By providing vital community resources with educational services, this can deter youth from engaging in delinquent activities. This too provides a bridge between community and school relations in local communities where grants have been readily available.In support of this hypothesis, several studies have determined that impetuous youth are more vulnerable to the risk of gang involvement. For example, Gottfordson (2007), found a stronger, yet positive relationship between inconsistent parental persuasion practices and adolescent conduct problems for youth with higher levels of impulsivity (Gottfordson et al., 2007).
However, incorporating a higher educated staff and a higher percentage of male role models. Having structured programs that create achievement in leadership. This can reduce the percentage of delinquent activities. By creating and providing workshops to create positive behavior and achieve prosocial development. According to Gottfordson et al., 2007 there is an increase in youth reports related to delinquent behavior that causes a higher percentage in violent crimes and drug usage among their peers (Gottfordson et al. 2007). However, youth that consistently attended community relations activities were not effected in regards to drug usage, the programs that offered 2-6 hours per week sustained the usage of drugs among their clients. The programs providing activities like sports, computer training, and field trips help youth emotionally.
Having programs such as these can produce a measurable change in a youth that is exposed to a community with a high crime rate and drug usage. Research has also proven that sociological theories offer rather conflicting predictions concerning criminological theory of delinquent behavior among our youth. Students in high school are dropping out (Thornberry and Christenson 1985). For example, strain theory suggests that dropping out increases delinquency, especially for lower class youth. Although social control concept suggests that dropping out would increase the chances of criminal activity. Moreover, empirical studies provide support for each of these views with the most influential study, the outcomes indicate that dropping out of high school is certainly associated with later crime, a result that is consistent with a control perspective (Thornberry et al., 1985).
The association between school failure and criminal behavior is a repeated theme in models of delinquency. Subsequent dropouts have been found to have greatly higher rates of crime during high school than do former students (Thornberry et al., 1985) These findings are consistent with most theories of delinquency.
However, what is not clear and what I will address is the theory of two basic models of delinquency, strain theory and social control theory that offer rather divergent predictions. In strain theory the middle class situation of the school is regarded as a major source of defeat and isolation for lower class youth. To ease their frustration, these students withdraw acceptability from middle class rules and turn to misbehavior as a source of approval, status, and success (Thornberry et al., 1985).
Yet strain theory views school and its link to failure as a major cause of criminal activity. On the other hand, a formulation of social control theory suggests that delinquency arises when the person’s oath to conventional society becomes weakened. Individuals who are attached to predictable associations are strongly bonded to society, hence are questionable for committing a crime (Thornberry et al., 1985). Although these theories offer contradictory likelihoods about the association between dropping out and delinquency, they both enjoy some degree of empirical support.
According to a panel study Thornberry et al., (1985), they observed 2,617 subjects that were in the 9th grade until they graduated from high school. In which they hypothesize that “…the act of leaving school should reduce-related frustration and alienation and thereby lower motivational stimulus for delinquency” (Thornberry et al., 1985). As a result of this study they concluded that based on the findings; the drop out group that were considered delinquent was the highest upon leaving school. This was regardless of the age of the child when they dropped out because the percentage declined sharply. Therefore, Thornberry concluded that this does support the basic theory that the school is the critical social context for the group of delinquent behavior (Thornberry et al., 1985).
However according to the Philadelphia birth cohort of 1945, who found that delinquency rates were higher when subjects had been in school, compared to post-school. They also concluded once they dropped out only 1% of the delinquent drop outs committed their first crime (Thornberry et al., 1985). Therefore, I determine that the majority of students who drop out do not become delinquents. In the United States, all unified school districts, junior colleges and four year universities are required to administer reading and writing assessments. For example, students have to be at a certain level before they can advance to a higher grade. These tests are given in several categories, but there is a history of bias and cruel criminal justice policies that are associated with administering these tests. Historically they have been used in a way to undermined people of color (Jamali, 2017).
Nevertheless, intelligence when measured over common IQ tests is a judiciously strong link and conjecturer of a range of outcomes. For instance, the correlation between IQ scores and school grades is about 0.5; meaning there is about a 25% adjustment of school performance as described by IQ scores (Jamali et al., 2017). Intelligence is also measured and is interrelated with job performance, and other various facets of successes and failures in life (Jamali et al., 2017) IQ scores are also related to delinquency, although the degree of the association is fairly weak compared to other said outcomes. Nonetheless, it is as durable today as the outcome of white social class, people of color, and other ethnic groups (Jamali et al., 2017).
The IQ difference between nondelinquents and delinquent is very small. It averages around 8 points or half a normal standard deviation (Jamali et al., 2017). Some researcher’s dispute that the low IQ scores of delinquents simply reflects the absence of test enthusiasm in most delinquent youths (Jamali et al., 2017). The IQ-delinquency relation endures a statistical controller of test motivation. The quality of a good education has relied strongly on the funding of the government within school districts. These laws shape the access one has to be sure that the student is receiving forms of literacy. This in turn, shapes the literacy standards in higher education (Jamali et al., 2017).
Since language and literacy is shaped by exterior forces such as wealth, racial and social groups Language and literacy are secured to one another. Research has consistently shown that language/verbal skills are related to a wide range of adverse behavioral outcomes; impaired language skills of children lead to delinquency, school failure, and physical aggression, while proper language development fosters emotional control and impulse regulation (Jamali et al., 2017). Note that the characteristics of intelligent testing and these outcomes are quite similar to those of self-control, which are defined by several scholars. In fact, data indicates that language development is closely related to self-control. One of the most important functions of language is intrapersonal emotional and behavioral regulation.
Recently there are disputes surrounding dress codes; people are for and against the notion of this idea. Dress codes have been in schools since the early 1950s and 1960s, this was when unified school districts were seeking to curb juvenile delinquency. School districts came to the unquestionable conclusion about having rules for the type of clothes pupils should ware and create boundaries we all can follow. However, unless your hart is not in adhering to the new rules regarding dress codes in schools, you will be miserable as you find yourself disobeying the rules (Moore, 2018). Many juveniles feel that dress codes are stupid (Moore et al., 2018).
A large number of students have expressed their unhappiness at the thought of having a dress code. However, you have to look at our military who are required to have their uniform’s neatly ironed, and being forced to salute. “It’s not that bad”. Yes, there are military schools, and public high schools that have ROTC, and they too wear uniforms (Moore et al., 2018). However, this argument is about having the choice to have a dress code, and that decision does not deter juveniles from becoming delinquents. Having a dress code in school is to reduce bullying and violence by removing style differences according to the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
However, during the President Clinton administration the preferred school of thought was the schools should adopt outfits, believing this idea would promote discipline and safety. This would also prevent high school students from wearing gang colors to campus (More Et al., 2018). A unified look is better for many reasons, and juveniles would not agree unless they are accountable and are willing to purchase and maintaining their own attire. These items are provided or can be sold at a small cost. It had been argued that in some schools some boys feel looking “gangster” is where its’ at! The girls seems to love that “hoochy mama ho” look.
An interviewee noted Moore (2018), “the existing of gang related activities in schools.” Identification, resulting in intervention is the issue, having uniforms in schools would make it easier for them to identify the students who belong at their school, and those who do not. However, some students are refusing to wear uniforms, or some families cannot afford them. However, there are a large number of gangs in lower developed communities, and having them wear uniforms will deter them from sneaking in the back door, or try to get others students to be a part of their gang (Moore et al., 2018). It is beneficial when youth are in fashionable attire, because your first impression is ever lasting (Moore et al., 2018). Proper clothing helps you dress for success. The adoption of a mandatory dress code within local school districts is a safer idea, and a safer way to keep students from being labeled, as a delinquent.
Gottfredson, D., Cross, A., & Soulé, D. (2007). Distinguishing characteristics of effective and Ineffective after-school programs to prevent delinquency and victimization. Criminology & Public Policy, 6(2), 289-318.
Jamali, M., Crisco, Virginia, Beynon, John, & Hernandez, Melanie. (2017). The Bias of Current Writing Assessment Methods and the Overrepresentation of Students of Color in the California State University’s Early Start Program, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.
Thornberry, T., Moore, M., & Christenson, R. (1985). The effect of dropping out of high school on subsequent criminal behavior. Criminology, 23(1), 3-18
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