Peter Weiss

English 1

Webquest: Violence in Schools--Student Victimization

Introduction: Your younger sister has just entered high school.  Her first day of classes, the local gang leader forces her to hand over her metro card.  She comes to you for help, but when you size up the situation, you see there are twelve of them and just one of you.  You decide not to do anything.


Later that week, while having lunch in the cafeteria with your girlfriend, the smallest and youngest member of the local gang comes to your table and harasses your girlfriend.  You stand up and are about to confront him when all of a sudden fifteen other gang members appear.   Again, you decide not to do anything.


 Later, all of you discuss your feelings.  Your sister is afraid to go back to school.   She feels victimized.  Your girlfriend feels humiliated and ashamed.  You feel powerless and anxious that it all might happen again and again.


Your favorite teacher has found out through the grapevine what happened to you and has been happening to other students.  In conjunction with the principal and the student government, a committee is being formed to address the issue of violence, gangs and student victimization in your school.  You have been selected to be a member of that committee.  Your committee will develop a policy to prevent students from being victimized by the bullies who belong to gangs.



Task:  Your task is to research the topic of student victimization in high schools and find out what has been done throughout the country to deal with this issue.  You will be responsible for discovering the causes of student victimization within the schools and the effects it has on the on the students who are victimized.  You will then, in committee, create a policy to be implemented in your school to prevent student victimization and rid the school of bullies and gang influence.  In order to complete this web quest, you must follow the Public Policy Analyst steps found at the TIPS web site.   You must also complete the following:

A.                 Research to substantiate the public issue

B.                 Public Policy Analyst worksheets

C.                Group summaries and oral presentation based upon worksheets

D.                Public policy paper

E.                  Public policy solution presentation




1.                     You will be assigned to a group of 3 - 4 students.

2.                     Each group will research student victimization in schools.  This may include information about bullying and gangs, but must include research into the effects of victimization of students within the school setting.  Research will be done on the internet, using recommended sites as listed.

3.                     Each person will complete the Public Policy Analyst worksheets:

                                    a.   Defining the Social Problem—worksheet 1

                                                b.  Gather evidence of the problem—worksheet 2

                                    c.  Identify the causes of the problem—worksheet 3

d.      Identify and evaluate the existing public policies—worksheet 4

e.      Develop your own public policy alternatives—worksheet  5

f.        Select the best  public policy solution—worksheet 6

4.                     Each group will take the individual summaries for each question, put them together and edit the summaries into a formal report on your findings.

5.                     Each person will complete a public policy paper (2-3 pages), in which you state the issue, its causes and effects and present in detail your public policy and how it will help effect a solution to the problem. 

6.            Each group will prepare an oral presentation to be presented to the class (as if the principal and student government were in the audience), outlining the problem,  presenting data to support the evidence of the problem, detailing how existing policy has failed, and explaining your policy and why it will be effective.







Evaluation Criteria:

In-Depth Completion of Public Policy Analyst Worksheets

Detailed research to substantiate social problem

Public Policy Paper

Participation in all Group Work and presentations



Evaluation Scale

5          Outstanding work, complete, focused and thoughtful; controlled and guided technical English

4                    Thorough, complete and substantial work; proficient in technical English; organized, focused and clear

3                    Complete, basically thorough and substantial work; somewhat proficient in technical English (some errors); mostly organized, focused and clear

2                    Perfunctory work, not complete, not detailed; shows beginning of  proficiency in technical English;  partially focused and clear

1          Incomplete work, no substantial data, little research effort, little group participation


                        5          90-100

4                    80-89

3                    74-79

2                    65-73

1          64 or below



Conclusion:  Having completed this project, you will have begun to understand the impact of being victimized by violence in schools, which is mostly perpetrated by gangs and bullies.  You will have a sense of the feelings of victims and a factual basis for understanding how a violent school atmosphere can undermine successful education.  You will have begun developing a sense of social responsibility, the notion that this is a social problem.  And you will have begun to create public policy leading to solutions to prevent student victimization and violence in schools.



Standards: In doing this project students will have met the following New York State Learning Standards:



                        1.        LISTENING AND READING

Listening and reading to acquire information and understanding involves collecting data, facts, and ideas; discovering relationships,

concepts, and generalizations; and using knowledge from oral, written and electronic sources.

                        2.        SPEAKING AND WRITING

Speaking and writing to acquire and transmit information requires asking probing and clarifying questions, interpreting information in one’s

own words, applying information from one context to another, and presenting the information clearly, concisely, and comprehensibly.

                         E1 – READING

                         E1c. – read and comprehend information material.

                         E2 – WRITING

                         E2a. -  produce a report of information.

                         E3 – SPEAKING , LISTENING AND VIEWING

                         E3b. – participate in one to one conferences with a teacher.

                         E3c. – participate and deliver an individual presentation.


E4a. – independently and habitually demonstrate an understanding of the rules of the English language in written and oral work.

 E4b. – analyze and subsequently revise work to improve its clarity and effectiveness.



Standard 1 - Analysis, Inquiry, and Design

Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.

       Standard 2 - Information Systems

Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

       Standard 7 - Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science, and technology to address real-life problems and make informed




Standard – 5 civics, citizenship, and government

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments, the

governmental system of the United States and other nations; the United States constitution; the basic civic values of American constitution,  democracy, and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation