Tuesday, April 26, 2005

School Snitch Programs Pay Informers

About 2,000 schools and colleges, from Honolulu to Palm Beach County, Florida, have adopted Student Crime Stoppers programs, according to the nonprofit Crime Stoppers U.S.A., which began helping schools set up such programs in 1983.

Critics call them "snitch" programs, saying they are a knee-jerk reaction to student violence. Some education professionals fear such policies could create a climate of distrust in schools and turn students against each other.

"There are very few things that I can think of that would be more effective at destroying that sense of community," said Bruce Marlowe, an education psychology professor at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.


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