NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

School Violence Is Declining

April 18, 2000

Statistics show the overwhelming majority of schools are safe -- some experts noting that they are even the safest place in a teen's world. School shootings get instantaneous national press coverage in much the same way that airplane crashes are covered by the media. But just as the shootings are isolated incidents, so does airplane travel remain the safest means of transport.

  • A study from the Justice Policy Institute shows that from 1998 to 1999 the number of school-related violent deaths decreased 40 percent -- from 43 in 1998 to 26 last year.
  • From 1993 to 1997, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fights in schools decreased 14 percent and injuries from fights fell 20 percent.
  • Also, the number of children who reported carrying a weapon to school during the previous 30 days dropped 30 percent.

Source: Patrick Welsh (T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va.), "Are Schools Really Dangerous? Not Mine -- and Not Most Others," USA Today, April 18, 2000.


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