For many years school violence was thought to exist only in poor inner-city schools, with most of that violence directed against specific students (gangs, for example). A series of highly publicized sniper attacks, many in affluent suburban schools, during the 1990s changed the public’s perception of school violence. Although the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that in 1997 only 10 percent of schools reported any instance of serious crime, with 42 percent reporting no crimes at all, many believe that schools have becoming increasingly dangerous. What was particularly chilling about many of the attacks was often the students responsible were regarded as quiet and unassuming.
It is simplistic to say that a code of conduct would have kept some of the most deadly sniper attacks from taking place. That said, a code of conduct does send a clear message to students that certain behavior will not be tolerated, including teasing and bullying. Some of the students who killed their fellow students were said to have been bullied and taunted by their classmates over a period of years.