Incidents of school crime and violence on the rise

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Parents worried about their children's safety while at school might not just be over-protective. While the number of school-related deaths are starting to decrease, incidents of theft and violence – including student violence against teachers – are on the rise in America's schools, according to a federal report released Tuesday. And schools are beefing up security, including video cameras and armed security guards, as a result.

The National Center for Education Statistics released its annual "Indicators of School Crime and Safety" report, finding that during the 2010-11 school year – the most recent data available – there were 31 violent deaths – such as homicides and suicides involving students, staff members and others – on school campuses. That's a decrease from a nearly 20-year high of 63 during the 2006-07 school year. But nonfatal incidents at school – such as theft and assault – appear to be on the rise, after several years of steady decline. In 2012, students between the ages of 12 and 18 experienced more than 1.3 million nonfatal victimizations, according to the report.

"Our nation’s schools should be safe havens for teaching and learning free of crime and violence," the report says. "Any instance of crime or violence at school not only affects the individuals involved but also may disrupt the educational process and affect bystanders, the school itself, and the surrounding community."

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