Education A National Roundup

Federal Agencies Cite Drop in School Crime Since 1992

By Jessica L. Tonn — November 29, 2005 1 min read

School crime rates remain low, with the number of violent incidents at schools in 2003 at about half the number recorded in 1992, a study released last week by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics concludes.

According to the study, which is based on several national surveys, the violent-crime victimization rate dropped from 48 incidents per 1,000 students ages 12 to 18 in 1992 to 28 incidents per 1,000 students in 2003.

“Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2005” is available from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Nine percent of students in that age group reported having been threatened or injured with a weapon while at school during the 2002-03 school year, and 5 percent said they had skipped school or avoided specific places in school because they feared violence.

Kenneth S. Trump, the president of the Cleveland-based consulting firm National School Safety and Security Services, argues that the school violence rate is much higher than the report suggests.

“Education Department school violence data is based on limited academic surveys and research studies, rather than actual crimes reported to law enforcement,” he said in a statement.