Nearly nine in 10 Boston public high school students questioned in 2004 said they had witnessed acts of violence, and half the boys asked said that getting a gun would be “very or fairly easy,” according to a study commissioned by the city.
The survey, conducted last year by Harvard University’s school of public health, also found that nearly a third of students questioned said they had a family member killed in a shooting, stabbing, or beating.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino called the results of the study shocking, and said he would appoint a youth adviser to address the apparent crisis facing city teenagers.
The study, released Dec. 23, was based on questionnaires returned by 1,000 high school students and was done before a surge in violent crime in Boston this past year. Of 74 documented homicides in Boston during 2005, at least half the victims were age 25 or younger.
Roughly 18,500 students were in grades 9-12 in Boston schools when the survey was taken. Students from 17 regular public schools and charter schools were questioned.