The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

School Violence

The tragedy of recent school shootings has left the impression that schools are more unsafe than ever before. Not so, reports a joint effort by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics.

Key report findings include:
(1) The violent crime victimization rate at school declined from 1992 to 2003.
(2) In the 2002-03 school year, there were 15 student homicides and 8 student suicides in the nation's schools, figures that translate to less than one homicide or suicide per million students
(3) In 2003, 5 percent of students ages 12 to 18 reported being victimized at school during the previous six months: 4 percent reported theft, while 1 percent said they were victims of a violent crime;
(4) In 2003, 21 percent of students reported that street gangs were present at their school during the previous six months;
(5) In 2003, 33 percent of high school students reported having been in a fight anywhere, and 13 percent said they had been in a fight on school property during the preceding 12 months; and (6) In 2003, students in urban schools were twice as likely as students in rural and suburban schools to fear being attacked at school or on the way to and from school.

I am not sure what the trends would say since 2003 - but even a few of these tragedies is a few too many.

The population is increasing so the number of events is bound to go up. Plus...the 24/7 news media makes one incident anywhere in the world seem like its right in your living room.

My big fear is that I see no way to make things safer in America without continuing to take away individual freedoms and liberty, infringing upon the open society that has made America the greatest nation in history.

So...what to do...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would feel more confident if the schools would actually run through some mock disaster drills besides the obligatory fire/tornado drills. Practice makes perfect!

Joy Swartzentruber, Director of Curriculum said...

Our schools do have lockdown drills along with our storm and fire drills.

Anonymous said...

If I am correct, except for these two recent incidents of adults randomly going to schools and shooting, isn't there a direct link between bullies and school shootings? Does Wawasee have zero tolerance for bullies?

Anonymous said...

The schools may have lockdown drills in place, but do all of them really practice it on a regular basis?

Anonymous said...

I was told by my son that they do lockdown drills every two months at Milford school.

Anonymous said...

I'm just a parent, but I'd like to address this question asked above.
Does Wawasee have zero tolerance for bullies?
My experience has been that they do have zero tolerance. When my son was in 4th grade, he had a couple of boys who wanted to pick on him. I mentioned it to his teacher and she took immediate action. She took down the names of the boys and the problem was resolved. Now I do know some kids don't want to tell their parents or anyone if they're being bullied. They fear making it worse or being made fun of for being a tattle tale. I think a lot of the problem is that parents need to pay more attention to their kids at home.