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Media Advisory

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

April 17, 2007
TO: Reporters, producers, editors covering the tragedy at Virginia Tech
FROM: Amy Lunday | 443-287-9960 | acl@jhu.edu
RE: School violence expert from Johns Hopkins University

The brutal murders at Virginia Tech on April 16 have once again brought the issue of school violence to the forefront of our national consciousness. Joseph Gasper, a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at The Johns Hopkins University, studies the nature of school crime and juvenile violence, as well as causes and prevention methods. He is teaching a course this summer on School Crime and Juvenile Justice.

Gasper can discuss:

>> How adult crime differs from juvenile crime

>> Whether media coverage of school violence promotes copycat shootings

>> The role of violent television, video games, and music in school violence

>> The challenges in balancing students' rights with school discipline

>> Whether increased school security makes campuses safer

Gasper points out that fatalities caused by serious violent crimes in schools and on campuses are few and far between. However, concern with more minor forms of school violence, such as bullying, has increased, Gasper says, because of the recognition that it may be implicated in more serious violence, including rampage shootings. Members of the media interested in speaking with Gasper should contact Amy Lunday at 443-287-9960 or acl@jhu.edu.

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