Indicators of School Crime and Safety 2000

A joint effort by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics, this new report is intended to help educators develop policies to prevent school violence and crime by giving them information about the nature, extent, and scope of the problem. The report is organized as a series of indicators, with each indicator presenting data on a different aspect of school crime and safety.

Between 1992 and 1998, for instance, violent victimization rates on school grounds dropped from 48 crimes per 1,000 students to 43 per 1,000. (The violent crime rate among school-age people in the general population is in the range of 75 per 1,000.) Between 1995 and 1999, the percentage of students who said they were victims of crimes on school grounds also decreased from 10 percent to eight percent. Consequently, students seem to feel more secure at school now than just a few years ago.

However, for some types of crimes at school, rates have not changed. Between 1993 and 1997, the percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 who were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property remained constant, at about 7 or 8 percent. The percentage of students who reported being in a physical fight on school property also remained unchanged during the same period, at about 15 percent. While overall school crime rates have declined, violence, gangs, and drugs are still evident in some schools, indicating that more work needs to be done.

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Third Annual Report on School Safety

Issued by the Departments of Education and Justice in October, this 75-page report contains sections on the nature and scope of school violence; information on school discipline policies, including suspension and expulsions; and resources to promote school safety and reduce crime.

The report also details the work of the 23 new Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative grant recipients. The projects funded by these grants, which are administered jointly by the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice, encourage integrated, community-wide strategies to improve school safety and healthy childhood development.

Brief descriptions for the 23 new partnerships are provided, as well as narratives featuring the first-year accomplishments and challenges of 10 of the 54 grantees for 1999.

The featured projects are in Pinon, Ariz.; Jonesboro, Ark.; San Francisco; San Luis Obispo County, Calif.; Denver; Des Moines, Iowa; Lansing, Mich.; Deschutes County, Ore.; Newport, R.I.; and Georgetown, Texas. Examples of common program elements include early intervention, development activities (such as conflict resolution), support for teachers and families, safety efforts such as crisis response teams and surveillance equipment, and use of mental health counselors and school resource officers.

A new section in the annual report contains background on school discipline policies, including the Gun-Free Schools Act, data on suspensions and expulsions, findings on racial disparities, and a summary of Education Department activities.

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