Crime is a concern in American public schools, and one of the reasons that many people turn to homeschooling. If crime really that serious a problem? Aside from horrific school shootings, are our public schools a safe haven for our children? Let’s take a look at some national statistics.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012 there were 45 school-associated violent deaths that included students, non-students, and staff – of these, 26 were homicides, 14 were suicides, and 5 were legal interventions (none of these were students).
In most years included in their survey, 85% of public schools reported incidents of crime and students between the ages of 12 and 18 were more likely to experience non-fatal violent victimization at school than they were away from school. These included theft, simple assault, rape, aggravated robbery, sexual assault, and aggravated assault. A report published in 2015 from the same source stated that in 2013 there were 454,000 thefts and 966,000 violent victimizations. In 2013, that amounted to 55 victims out of every 1,000 students.
During the 2009-2010 school year, data shows that 23% of public schools reported incidents of bullying on a daily or weekly basis. In 2013, 19% of high school seniors, 22% of high school freshman, and 23% of high school sophomores and juniors said that illegal drugs were available on campus – which is actually better than previous years.
According to FBI records, between 2000 and 2004 the age of almost half of those committing crimes at school was between 13 and 18, with the majority between 13 and 15. The same records show that, when the gender of the offender was known, most of them were female – but the majority of actual arrests made involved males. In addition, most of the crimes were committed by white students.
The types of crimes committed vary widely. Crimes against persons were primarily simple assault, intimidation, aggravated assault, and forcible fondling. The vast majority of crimes against society were related to drugs, narcotics, and weapons. Overall, the most common crimes are simple assault, destruction of property/damage/vandalism of property, drug/narcotic violations.
According to the National Institute of Justice, the side effects of these types of crimes are serious, leading to issues such as truancy, violence, and drop-outs. However, they do provide a ray of hope: overall, the rates of crime in our public schools have begun to drop over the past few years. They attribute this to better school security and violence prevention programs for students.
So, is violence and crime still an issues in American schools? Yes, it is an issue and one that is being actively addressed through programs and security protocols. However, no program or protocol can restore what has already been taken from those school children who were among the statistics discussed in this article. As a parent, it is up to you to research these facts for yourself and determine if your child is safe in the public schools in your area.
For 15 years Mimi Rothschild has been privileged to help hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers educate their children at home. The MorningStar Academy is a private online Christian school offering diplomas and teachers. The Jubilee Academy is an online Christian curriculum provider offering over 150 full year online Christian courses for PreK-12.