Tuesday, April 28, 2009

School Violence Numbers from the CDC

According to the CDC, "violent deaths at schools accounted for less than one percent of the homicides and suicides among children ages 5-18." This finding is based on fatal injuries including homicides, suicides, or legal interventions that occur on school property, on the way to/from school, or during or on the way to/from a school-sponsored event (only violent deaths associated with U.S. elementary and secondary schools are included). Other findings were that "during the past seven years, 116 students were killed in 109 separate incidents-an average of 16.5 student homicides each year" and that "rates of school-associated student homicides decreased between 1992 and 2006." Also, "from 1999 to 2006, most school-associated homicides included gunshot wounds (65%), stabbing or cutting (27%), and beatings (12%). Among the students who committed a school-associated homicide, 20% were known to have been victims of bullying and 12% were known to have expressed suicidal thoughts or to have engaged in suicidal behavior."

While I think it is misleading to lump suicides and homicides together, the numbers still illustrate the relative rarity of school violence, despite the disproportionate media coverage of such events.

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