More than 11 percent of Washington, DC, high school students reported being "threatened or injured" with a weapon while on school property during the previous year—a rate above the national average.
“School Safety in Washington, D.C,” a study by the Heritage Foundation and the Lexington Institute, says that during 2007-2008 (the most recent full school year that data was available), police responded to more than 900 calls reporting violent incidents in DC public schools, including assaults and sex offenses. More than 1,300 calls complained of property incidents such as auto theft and vandalism. And 1,250 calls reported acts such as drug offenses, gunshots, suicide, and disorderly conduct.
“As District and federal policymakers consider future education reforms, school safety should be a priority in D.C. public and charter schools,” the report says. “Moreover, the federal government and the District should support providing more school choice options for District families, including greatly expanding the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program [a federal private school choice initiative] to ensure that all children have a chance to attend safe schools of their parents' choice.” “As district leaders, policymakers on Capitol Hill, and the Obama Administration consider the future of education reform in D.C. schools, ensuring that all children attend school in a safe learning environment should be a primary focus,” the report concludes.