NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Fatal School Violence Has Declined

April 30, 1999

Deadly violence in U.S. schools has decreased in recent years, and 1998-99 is on track to be one of the safest school years this decade. Data from the Department of Justice and the National School Safety Center reveals that schools remain among the safest places for children.

  • Chances are roughly one in a million that someone will die violently at school.
  • Of the 1,733 killings of juveniles in 1997, only 34 occurred at schools.
  • There have been 24 violent deaths on American school grounds during the 1998-99 school year, including the 15 deaths at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., and three suicides at other schools.
  • By contrast, there were 53 deaths during the 1992-93 school year, the earliest for which figures are available -- including 18 deaths due to disputes between students and 13 gang-related slayings.

This school year, there have been three deaths related to disputes and one gang-related death.

Source: Scott Bowles, "Fewer Violent Fatalities in Schools," USA Today, April 28, 1999.


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