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Report: N.C. School Violence Down

Posted December 5, 2007

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— Violence in North Carolina public schools dropped slightly last year, according to a report presented Wednesday to the state Board of Education.

Coincidentally, the report was released the same day that a student was stabbed by a fellow student at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh and a day after a student fight at Dillard Drive Middle School in Cary that school administrators said had gang overtones.

Schools statewide reported 11,013 acts of crime and violence among the public school system's 1.4 million students last year, or 7.77 acts per 1,000 students, the report said. That was down from 7.9 acts per 1,000 students in 2005-06. The total number of violent acts increased by 54.

Forty percent of North Carolina public schools reported no crimes or violent acts last year, while 72 percent reported five or fewer incidents, the report said.

"Quality teachers and strong academics are important to parents, but school safety ranks No. 1," Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee said in a statement. "The State Board of Education has made safe schools one of its strategic priorities, and we will continue to explore programs that have a positive impact on the learning environment for students and the instructional environment for teachers."

Three categories of incidents continues to be responsible for more than 80 percent of all reported offenses: possession of controlled substance, possession of a weapon excluding firearms and powerful explosives and possession of an alcoholic beverage.

Offenses considered violent represented 4 percent of the incidents reported last year.

The number of incidents involving possession of a controlled substance decreased in 2006-07 after increasing during the three previous years, according to the report.

"I want to see similar declines in all reported areas. Principals, teachers, parents and students need to work together to ensure that our classrooms and school campuses are safe, empowering learning communities," State Superintendent of Education June Atkinson said in a statement.

Four other incident types also decreased last year from 2005-06: bomb threat, assault resulting in serious injury, assault involving use of a weapon and taking indecent liberties with a minor.

Possession of a weapon excluding firearms and powerful explosives is the most reported act at the elementary and middle grade levels, while possession of a controlled substance is the most reported act at the high school level, according to the report.

16 Comments

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  • Scarecrow Cow Dec 5, 2007

    I'm kind of suprised there was a gang fight at Dillard Drive. I thought it had almost all middle-class Cary kids.

  • nc resident Dec 5, 2007

    yeah..get a life

  • thepeopleschamp Dec 5, 2007

    Not So Dumb, you are exactly right. I work in the schools and that is true for some principals. How else do you explain a middle school having no reported crime at all and then the high school it feeds into has a massive reported crime rate, most of it committed by freshmen?

    NC has 2 school violence issues on the horizon. 1) NC wants to raise the drop-out age from 16 to 18 thus FORCING some students, that are criminals, to have to remain in school to prey on kids that want to be there. 2) NC wants to raise the Juvenile Age from 16 to 18. This would be a HUGE blunder. Now, if a 16/17 year old assaults staff or other students he can be taken to jail where he belongs until a parent bails him out. When the Juvenile age goes up, that same suspect will get a free ride home and NOTHING else will happen to them. I say free ride home b/c these hoodlums parents don't bother to come to school to get them. Juvenile Justice is a handcuffed agency that can do little to nothing.

  • clover1019 Dec 5, 2007

    spoke too soon!

  • LMRA Dec 5, 2007

    We just had a BIG laugh about the irony of those three articles appearing together! Not that school violence is funny - just that, by the articles appearing together, it makes the "reduction in violence" statement seem unbelieveable. Think the web master will be spoken to about this???

  • Harrison Bergeron Dec 5, 2007

    Uhm, the RATE of violence is down slightly. The raw incident count is up, so the title of this story is somewhat misleading.

    Agree with other posters, the stats are meaningless if all schools aren't reporting. But, that is what they have been reduced to: lying about reality. They have learned to do this very well, look how they lie about academic performance.

  • DarnYouu Dec 5, 2007

    WRAL, you realize this is just under the article about an Athens student that got stabbed today?

  • LambeauSouth Dec 5, 2007

    If you go to the Hompage and look at the top stories

    2 of the 4 are A student stabbed and Blacks and Hispanics seperated after fight????

    A little premature on this Huh?

  • yruatwit Dec 5, 2007

    From a statistical standpoint, I'd like to know the racial, ethnic and economic demographics of the schools.

  • monkey_boy09 Dec 5, 2007

    i just heard that 5 kids were in a gang fight b/c one wasnt willing to share his portion of toilet paper.

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