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Report: School violence up slightly in N.C.

Posted March 5, 2009
Updated March 6, 2009

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— The number of crimes and violent acts committed in North Carolina schools last year rose by 1 percent, according to a report released Thursday.

Schools reported 11,276 crimes and violent acts during the 2007-08 school year, up from 11,013 the year before. The crime rate per 1,000 students went from 7.77 in 2006-07 to 7.85, according to the report.

Violent crimes went down by 3.6 percent last year and accounted for 3.8 percent of all school crimes, the report said. Drug possession, alcohol possession and possession of weapons other than firearms or explosives accounted for 85 percent of the school crimes reported last year.

The report for the first time consolidated data on school violence with information about suspensions and dropouts.

"We know that there often is a relationship between crime and violence incidents, suspensions and expulsions and high school dropouts," Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson said in a statement. "By consolidating the reports that look at each area, we hope that we can better understand how to efficiently address student needs and help more students stay in school and be successful. It is important for all education leaders to examine our policies to be sure none of them have the unintended consequence of encouraging students to drop out."

Officials said there were few statewide patterns in the three areas, other than the fact that ninth-grade boys are at highest risk for dropping out, being suspended or expelled and for committing crimes or violent acts at school.

Expulsions jumped 14 percent last year, and long-term suspensions – suspensions of 11 days or more – increased by 10 percent, the report said. Meanwhile, short-term suspensions edged down by 1 percent.

About 5 percent of North Carolina high school students dropped out last year.

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  • flyguync Mar 5, 2009

    Good thing my kids are home-schooled! No violent events at our school in it's 7 year history!

  • jsanders Mar 5, 2009

    It seems likely to suspect a link between the increase in long-term suspensions and decrease in the dropout rate: http://www.johnlocke.org/lockerroom/lockerroom.html?id=19190

  • keepitsimple Mar 5, 2009

    School violence is going to get worse and dropout numbers are going to go up because we are not educating our students anymore. We are teaching our students to be successful on standardized test and not what really needs to be taught. I remember being in school and learning academics but also learning how to socially interact. These students today do not have any understanding of danger or death.....Society has taken a wrong turn and someone needs to get it back on the right road.

  • grammaladybug Mar 5, 2009

    The public may not know the schools come under fire all the time for suspending students. Administrators are basically told to keep those numbers low, or else! It's kind of a Catch-22 situation for the schools as far as enforcing rules!

  • kal Mar 5, 2009

    The problem is we have too many parents who do not assume responsibility for their children-they have kids for $-and let them roam doing what ever they want without supporting what schools try to do to beneift their kids. It may take a village to raise a child-but the PARENT lives in the village!

    And why when they report who is suspended it is usually certian groups-then the school are not suppose to suspend "those groups" that are being suspended-so "those groups" cause more problems knowing their chances of suspension are less. We need to stop being so culturally sensitive/politically correct and TRY to get these kids to be productive menmbers of society without giving them a way out each and every time!

  • grammaladybug Mar 5, 2009

    You think they are fighting because they are bored? Is there anything teens do anymore for which they can be held accountable? How about, they are fighting because their families and friends tell them that this is an acceptable way to handle conflict!

  • time4real Mar 5, 2009

    i think violence is up BECAUSE of the bussing! the kids are bored!

  • Iworkforaliving Mar 5, 2009

    stop busing and it would be limited to only a few schools.