LATEST ANNUAL REPORT ON SCHOOL CRIME AND VIOLENCE RELEASED
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North Carolina public schools reported 10,107 acts of crime and violence among the state's 1.3 million students in the 2004-05 school year, according to the 2004-05 Report on School Crime and Violence presented to the State Board of Education today.
In addition to providing totals for specific types of incidents, the report also lists the number of acts of crime per 1,000 students. In 2004-05, that number was 7.485 acts per 1,000 students as compared to 7.371 in 2003-04. This number is lower than in 2001-02, the first year that the report included the complete list of 17 reportable acts.
Today's report is based on information provided by all 115 local school districts and all 99 public charter schools. Under North Carolina law, schools are required to report certain acts of crime and violence to law enforcement. In addition, the law requires that the State Board of Education monitor and report annually on incidents of crime and violence in public schools. This reporting requirement began in 1997-98 with 14 reportable acts, a list that was expanded four years ago to its current 17 reportable acts.
State Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee said, "Student safety is the first priority of public schools. It is a foundation for student achievement and exemplary academic performance. These statistics show us that most public school students are law-abiding and focused on learning. I want to thank them and their families for being supportive of public schools in this way."
Four categories of incidents are responsible for 91.7 percent of all reported offenses. They are possession of a controlled substance in violation of law, possession of a weapon excluding firearms and powerful explosives, possession of an alcoholic beverage and assault on school personnel not resulting in serious injury. This pattern has been the same since reporting began on school crime and violence.
Several incident types decreased in 2004-05: assault resulting in serious injury, bomb threat, sexual assault not involving rape or sexual offense, robbery without a dangerous weapon, burning of a school building, robbery with a dangerous weapon and kidnapping.
As with many types of crime reporting, it is difficult to gauge causes for annual increases or decreases. Changes in overall numbers and rates per 1,000 students can be the result of more thorough reporting and better enforcement of laws in addition to actual increases in the number of offenses committed on school grounds.
State Superintendent June Atkinson noted that the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction will work with local school districts that experienced the most significant increases this year to ensure that they receive any technical assistance that they need in this area. "It is important for the school community to work together on this," she said. "We also need parents to be vigilant in helping to ensure that students leave dangerous or illegal substances at home. By doing this, our crime and violence numbers would improve significantly."
Elementary schools were the least likely to report offenses, with middle schools and high schools being more likely to report offenses. Five school districts reported five offenses or fewer. The report tracks the following incidents: possession of a controlled substance in violation of law, possession of a weapon excluding firearms and powerful explosives, possession of alcoholic beverage, assault on school personnel not resulting in serious injury, assault resulting in serious injury, bomb threat, assault involving use of a weapon, possession of a firearm or powerful explosives, sexual assault not involving rape or sexual offense, sexual offense, robbery without a dangerous weapon, burning of school building, taking indecent liberties with a minor, kidnapping, death by other than natural causes, rape and robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Trends of the Annual Report on School Crime and Violence are listed below. The number of acts per 1,000 students is calculated using the seventh month average daily membership (including charter schools) for each year.
|Annual Reporting Year||Total Acts||Acts Per 1,000 Students|
|Fourteen Reportable Acts|
|Seventeen Reportable Acts|
The total number of specified acts for 2004-05 and 2003-04 are provided in the links below.
For more information regarding the crime and violence report, please contact the Communications Division, NC DPI, 919.807.3450.
- Table 1A. Reported Statewide Acts by School Levels
6B. Total Number of Acts for Individual Schools in each LEA 2004-05
6A. Total Number of Acts for Charter Schools 2004-05
Annual Report on School Crime and Violence
About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.
For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.