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Department of Ed: Fewer Students Carrying Weapons

WASHINGTON—Between 1993 and 2009, the percentage of students who reported carrying a weapon at least one day anywhere during the past 30 days declined from 22 percent to 17 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2010.

Additionally, the percentage who reported carrying a weapon at least one day on school property declined, from 12 percent to six percent.

The report contains the latest data on school crime and student safety, and the information was taken from a number of sources, including national surveys of students and faculty.

According to the report’s key findings, in the 2008 to 2009 school year, there were 38 school-associated violent deaths among students ages 5 – 18. Among students ages 12 – 18, there were 1.2 million victims of non-fatal crimes.

The report addresses violent deaths, non-fatal student and teacher victimization, the school environment; fights, weapons and illegal substances; fear and avoidance and discipline, safety and security measures. Some of the findings include:

  • Of the 38 student, staff, and non-student school-associated violent deaths occurring between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2009, 24 were homicides, and 14 were suicides.
  • In 2009, 10 percent of male students in grades 9-12 reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property in the past year, compared to five percent of female students.
  • 10 percent of students ages 12-18 reported that someone at school had used hate-related words against them, and more than one-third (35 percent) reported seeing hate-related graffiti at school in 2007.
  • In 2007, seven percent of students ages 12-18 reported that they had avoided a school activity or one or more places in school in the previous six months because of fear of attack or harm.
  • 46 percent of public schools (approximately 38,500 schools) took at least one serious disciplinary action against a student during the 2007-08 school year. Of the 767,900 serious disciplinary actions taken, 76 percent were suspensions for five days or more, 19 percent were transfers to specialized schools, and five percent were removals with no services for the remainder of the school year.

Read the full report.

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