Disturbances Outside the Public Library: Need for Collaborative Community Intervention


Trudy Fletcher goes to her town’s public library during the noon hour and is faced with a visibly angry group of teenagers crowding around the entryway.  She enters the library and learns that the library staff members are sheltering a student from a rival school who is being threatened by local students with assault over a previous violent incident.  Joyce Miller, principal of the local high school, who has been experiencing difficulty with on-campus student behaviour, is faced with having to determine the best course of action in dealing with the situation.  This case raises questions about the extent to which various community stakeholders, including school personnel, have authority and responsibility to respond to and prevent these types of incidents, as well as the additional workload and stress placed on an administrator for an event occurring off school property.  The suggested teaching activities allow graduate classes to examine and discuss this case thoroughly, including attention to adolescent decision-making, legal and policy factors, proactive and preventive intervention options for schools and communities, and work intensification of principals.

Author Biography

Ken Brien, University of New Brunswick

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick