Teen-agers feel safer and more at home in smaller schools with evenhanded discipline policies and teachers who can maintain control, a new study suggests.

But students do not necessarily feel safer in schools where classes are smaller, where teachers are more experienced, or where classmates are kicked out the first time they fight, cheat, or bring alcohol, drugs, or guns on campus.

"Class size may be much more important for academic outcomes, but for connectedness, it really is the culture, the climate that's created in that classroom," said Dr. Robert

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