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...
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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