Despite a 30 percent decrease in incidents of violence last year, four school shootings produced a 700 percent increase in the reporting of school-related violence, according to the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). The resulting hype has left parents fearing the worst for their children—and administrators scrambling to assure parents that their schools are really safe.

Ignoring a potential problem is foolhardy. On the other hand, overreacting to the perception of violence


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