School Crime Data Reveals Safety Concerns for Georgia Children

A new report on school crime and safety shows that students and teachers still have serious concerns in Georgia and across the nation. The Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics compiled data from 2008 – 2009 to give us a snapshot of what’s going on in public high schools across the state:

8.2% of Georgia students said they were threatened or injured with a weapon at school
4.2% admitted they carried a weapon to school during the month prior to the survey
11.7% were involved in a physical fight on school grounds
32.9% said drugs were available to them on school property
4.2% admitted using alcohol on school grounds
7,000 teachers (5.8%) said they were threatened with injury by a student
4,900 teachers (4%) said they were physically attacked by a student
35.2% of teachers said student misbehavior interfered with their teaching

The national snapshot is somewhat different, since the surveys included different age groups.  A startling number of children – 1.2 million – were victims of crime at school.  They reported 619,000 thefts and 743,100 violent crimes and assaults.  (Students surveyed in 2008 were 12-18 years old)  Here are some other surprising numbers:

15 homicides and 7 suicides of children at school during the 2008-2009 school year
8% of students were threatened with a weapon at school
20% of schools reported gang activity
32% of students said they were bullied in 2007

Ken Trump: School Crime Stats Unreliable

Parents don’t know what they don’t know, and nobody is rushing to tell them. School crime statistics overall are underreported and unreliable. Student Victimization in U.S. Schools: Results For the 2007 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey was released this week. It didn’t take long for Tweets to pop up on Twitter announcing the report’s citations on students who were victims of bullying. The report highlighted “findings” which were so obvious, one would have to ask why the federal government would even ask such questions and perhaps more importantly, why they would think it would be some major revelation to readers:

“The percentage of student victims of violent crimes who reported being afraid of attack or harm at school (23.2 percent) was higher than that of nonvictims (4.9 percent) (figure 5 and table 7)”
“A higher percentage of students reporting any crime avoided specific places at school because of fear of attack or harm than did nonvictims (13.1 percent vs.