Further, to attend the school, in spite of

Further, safe school perception has
an effect on school attendance motivation, which is the desire to attend the
school, in spite of all the difficulties. Positive school climate is associated
with significantly lower levels of absenteeism (deJung& Duckworth, 1986;
Purkey& Smith, 1983; Reid, 1982; Rumberger, 1987; Sommer, 1985). Students miss
classes when their personal safety is threatened or when they feel unsafe going
to or coming back from school (Centre for
disease Control and Prevention, 2008).Such unsafe learning environments
create a climate of fear and insecurity which leads to a perception that
teachers do not have control or care about students’ well-being which further
leads to absenteeism. Absenteeism is one of the outcomes of bullying at school,
avoiding school may be a way to prevent or reduce victimization (DeRosier,
Kupersmidt, & Patterson, 1994).

Plethora of research has suggested adverse
effect of school violence and bullying on school attendance but the relationship
that exists between student’s perception of safe school and his motivation to
attend school has not much been explored as to the best knowledge of the
present researcher. This study set outs to explore the relationship between
safe school perception and school attendance motivation.Students who value self-respect,
sense of belonging, and sense of accomplishment exhibit significantly lower
frequency of delinquent behavior and substance use. (Goff and Goddard, 1999).
Strong positive relationship exists between the presence of discipline problems
and the presence of crime (Heaviside et al., 1998).Other research has also have
shown that lower perceptions of school safety are tied to victimization in
bullying incidents, resulting in more negative perceptions of students’
psychosocial environment (Meyer-Adams and Conner 2008).Students’ perceptions of
school safety can also be negatively affected by the presence of gangs and drug
problems (Schreck& Miller, 2003). Previous research has suggested that
many school attendance problems and truancy problems have their basis in
students’ desire to avoid hostile conflicts at school. Several studies
evaluating violence within schools have found that violence reduces school attendance
and causes an increase in behavioral problems; it also reduces high school
graduation percentages (Bowen & Bowen, 1999). One of the consequences of
students feeling unsafe at school is to stay at home (Lacoe, 2012). Attendance
in school and students’ grades have also found to be negatively associated with
their perception of being safe in school (Bowan&Bowan, 1999), as well as
disengagement with daily lessons among high risk middle and high school
students (Bowan, Richman, Drewster, and Bowan, 1998).Students who fear for
their safety have poor attendance and lower grades, especially in case of
bullying victims (Berkowitz &Benbenishty, 2012; Wegner, Garcia-Santiago,
Nishimura, &Hishinuma, 2010). Higher tendencies to engage in risk
behaviours such as smoking and alcohol and drug use have been found among students
who are frequently absent from school (Halfors et al., 2002; Wang, Blomberg,
& Li, 2005). Other research has focused on teacher student relationship as
a reason for absenteeism. Students
are less likely to attend school when they feel unsupported or disrespected by
teachers and other school staff; feel uncomfortable or bullied by other
students (Wagstaff, Combs, & Jarvis, 2000). Research
suggests that factors relate to the culture and climate of the school influence
student attendance (Barnham, 2004; Lauchlan, 2003; Schendell, et al., 2004;
Simons, Hwang, Fitzgerald, Kielb, & Lin, 2010). National Educational
Longitudinal Survey (NELS) data (Stewart, 2008), suggested that student
outcomes were related to the student’s sense of belongingness or connection to
the community. Similarly, students who perceive their schools to be unsafe had
higher rates of attribution (Rumberger and Palardy, 2005). In particular, those
students who experience bullying and victimization by peers or their teachers
tend to miss more school than peers who do not experience these conditions
(Glew, Fan, Katon, Rivara, , 2005).Recent research indicates that
bullying is now widely recognized as a significant factor in student attendance
as manifested through school avoidance behaviors (Kearney, 2008; Roberts, Zang,
Truman, & Snyder, 2012; Swearer, Espelage, Vaillancourt, & Hymel,
2010).

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Though there are research
on victimization, violence (bullying, delinquency) in school and its impact on
attendance but overall perception of the students towards their school in terms
of its climate, relationship with others (teachers, staff members, students),
sense of personal safety, rules at school, negative behaviours (drug use,
alcohol, smoking) at school, how fairly they are treated by their fellow
classmates, teachers, the effect of all theses taken together on students’
attendance has not been rigorously explored. The present study takes a holistic
approach in understanding the student’s perception of safe school and exploring
its relationship with their school attendance motivation. A study by Shumow and Lomax (2001) also had
similar findings stating that perceptions about school are not significantly
affected by factors like age or gender. Previous studies have also suggested
that students are likely to commit violent acts when they lack feelings of
belongingness and have poor bond to the school and do not trust the
administration (Anderman, 2002; Noguera, 1995). Student’s feeling of connectedness to the
school is also dependent on the relationship between the level of aggression
and victimization in school and school climate (Wilson, 2004).This finding is in conformity with
previous studies that suggested feelings of alienation and the risk of
absenteeism or drop-out are often increased because of bullying (Rigby, 2002);
an unfriendly school environment (Lewin, 2007) and the fear of physical
violence in school from teachers (Marin and Brown, 2008). Previous findings has
suggested that violence against students in schools results in higher levels of
absenteeism (Rigby and Slee, 1993), increases likelihood of drop out (Leach and
Mitchell, 2006) and greater truancy (Cullingford and Morrison, 1996; Green,
2006). A poor school environment can have harmful effects on students’ health
(Gadin, 2003), school enrolment, retention, & the quality
of education (Leach & Mitchell, 2006; UNESCO, 2006). Other studies have
suggested that a positive school climate is correlated with decrease in student
absenteeism in middle and high school (deJung& Duckworth, 1986; Gottfredson,
1989; Purkey& Smith, 1983; Reid, 1982; Rumberger, 1987; Sommer, 1985). Positive
school climate has an important role in forming a warm, secure and positive
relationship between teacher and students which has a positive impact on
students resulting in reduced drop-out rates (Dika&
Singh, 2002; Wentzel, 2003) 

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