School Violent Crime and Safety: Crime Statistics
Schools should be a safe haven where children go to learn, socialize and grow; they should not have to worry about violent crime. However, in recent years there have been many incidents at schools, which have resulted in the need for programs and increased security to eliminate the threat of violence in schools and keep the learning environment safe.
Examples of Violent Behavior
Violent crime in schools does not just include shooter incidents, but also bullying, harassment, victimization, sexual assault, fighting, cyber-bullying, battery, weapon-related threats, illegal substance-related violence, threats, and LGBTQ violence. During the 2014-2015 school year, there were 48 violent deaths that included 28 homicides, and 17 suicides. During that same time period, there were 749,400 incidents of victimization including theft on school property along with 601,300 incidents that took place off-campus.
10% of the teachers that year, reported being threatened with physical violence by students, and 6% were actually attacked. 37% of public schools had to take serious disciplinary action for one or more offenses on school grounds.
School Shootings: Weapons Used on School Property
Guns have a severe impact when used on school property as evidenced by Sandy Hook, Columbine, and Virginia Tech. Gun violence stuns students and teachers alike and robs them of a sense of safety and security in the environment where they learn.
Handguns were used in many of the school shootings that have taken place over the past few years. However, a good number of them also included assault weapons like the AR-15. Out of 24 recent shootings, at least three included semi-automatic rifles.
From 1982 until now, gunman used 140 handguns, 50 rifles and 29 shotguns in their mass shootings. In 2017 many states enacted stricter gun laws about open and concealed carry on school property to prevent further incidents. Many schools are now gun-free zones without exception.
More than two-thirds the gunman in school shooter incidents got their weapons at home.
Verbal Abuse of Teachers
It might seem absurd, but teachers are often victims of threats and verbal abuse not only from other staff members but also students themselves. According to the Department of Education, about 20% of teachers report to the police being verbally abused on a regular basis. The verbal abuse can include disrespect, insults, profane language, threats, and passive aggressive statements. 9% of them claim the abuse happens on a regular basis, at least once a week and some daily. 80% of teachers report that they have been verbally abused at least once in the past year.
Unfortunately, the fallout from this type of aggression is missed days of work, lost wages, medical or psychological care, worker’s compensation claims, lost instructional time, and student disciplinary action.
Cult or Extremist Group Activities
A cult is a group of like-minded people that band together and are socially committed to one another and the organization of shared beliefs. Secret cults exist within schools, and in areas where they are prevalent, there is far more school violence. Young people can often be vulnerable to influence and naive and therefore perfect targets to cults wanting to recruit new members. Some kids who are insecure and suffering join cults to feel part of a group. Cultism in schools results in bloodshed, murder, revenge and distortion of the academic progress. However, teenagers have right's when dealing with the police. The police does not have the right to arrest for something they suspect the teenager might have done.
Gangs in school are more popular than ever before. Even though only 5% of the principals surveyed claim there is gang activity in their schools, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse 45% of high school students confirm gangs and gang members at their school. Unfortunately, lonely or isolated youths may find gang life appealing to fill the void in their social lives.
Gangs and gang violence is much more prevalent in public schools (50%) than private schools (only 2%). More males (7.6%) join gangs than females (3.8%). Gangs are more popular in urban areas where 31% of students confirm gang behavior than 17% in the suburbs and 16% in rural areas.
Racial tension in schools exists all over the country and affects all school-aged children, even preschoolers. Racial bias prevents smart students from getting the education they deserve and make the school environment a hostile place. 55% of the nation’s racial issues in school come directly from 13 southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia).
The U.S. Department of Education reported that even though only 18% of students in preschool are black, they account for 50% of school suspensions. This disproportionate figure is based on racism.
Crimes of Non-Fatal Violence
Schools can be a breeding ground for other non-fatal violent crimes. Students, teachers and administrative staff report being pushed, spit on, punched, hit, the victim of theft, sexual assault, or threatened with a weapon. 3 in 1000 students experience non-fatal violent crime at school. 8% claim to have been in a physical altercation at school. 22% report being offered or pressured into buying drugs at school.
Due to programs and education on the subject, student victimization is actually down 75% from 1995. However 96% of all hate crimes on campus stem from discrimination of race, religion or sexual orientation.
Hazing and bullying have become a significant issue in U.S. schools and colleges across the country. 1 in 3 students claim to have been bullied in their school career. Most of all school bullying takes place during middle school, and the most common types are verbal and social bullying.
Shy kids or anyone labeled as “different” including LGBTQ students are the most at risk of being bullied. Studies have shown that bullying negatively affects not only the victim but also the bullies.
Although cyber-bullying is a factor, it is less common than regular bullying. Only 9% of students in grades 6-12 have been cyber-bullied and 15% of high school students. However, sadly 55.2% of LGBTQ students are the victims of cyber-bullying. 49% of kids who are bullied are attacked at least once a month.