Ensuring a safe learning environment for every student at school is a major responsibility of educators, school administrators, and policy makers in our society. Students’ fear associated with school violence affects their school attendance, learning motivation, and academic achievement. Although predictors of adults’ fear of crimes have been studied extensively in the field of criminology, limited information has been produced related to school and teacher factors associated with students’ fear of school violence.
Research indicates that low achieving students report a higher level of fear of school violence than high achievers. In addition, classroom disorder and a lower level of school mean parental education level were associated with a higher level of fear. In addition issues related to a students’ sense of belonging to a school community and the level of student/teacher bonding tends to be associated with a lower level of fear. Low academic achievement and a weak sense of student belonging at school are the two strongest predictors of students’ fear.
Therefore, it seems reasonable that school administrators and teachers need to focus on developing a sense of school community and maintaining orderly and effective classroom environments. We must recognize that teachers play an important role in developing a close and trusting relationship with students, providing meaningful learning and social activities for students to strengthen their sense of belonging at school, and developing caring and effective classroom environments. School administrators should provide support to teachers and develop a school climate that promotes a sense of school community among students through involving students and their family members in important school decision-making processes.