Report Says Crime at Public Schools on the Decline
Violent crime at the nation's schools is declining, and students and schools are reporting less bullying and gang activity.
The number of violent deaths declined to 33 in the 2009-10 school year, the lowest number on record since data was collected beginning in 1992, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice. In the previous school year, there were 38 such deaths.
Thefts and nonfatal violent crimes declined from 1.2 million in 2008 to 828,000 in 2010.
While the data show a consistent decline across several indicators, there were increases in a few areas, including cyber bullying and suicides among youth age 5 - 18 outside of school.
Some school safety advocates question whether the numbers are accurate at all, noting the data is collected through surveys and not incident based reporting.
Of the 33 violent deaths involving students, staff and others on school campuses, 25 were homicides, five were suicides and three involved a law enforcement officer. Among youth ages five to 18, there were 17 homicides and one suicide that occurred on school grounds.
The highest number of violent deaths at schools occurred in the 2006-07 school year, when there were 63.