NEWS RELEASES 2007-08
2006-07 SCHOOL CRIME AND VIOLENCE REPORT RELEASED
The rate of acts of crime and violence reported per 1,000 students in North Carolina public schools decreased by 0.13 in 2006-07. The total number of acts of crime and violence increased by 0.5 percent, or 54 acts, from 2005-06, according to the Annual Report on School Crime and Violence today presented to State Board of Education members.
During last school year, North Carolina schools reported 11,013 acts of crime and violence among the system's 1.4 million students. This total correlates to 7.77 acts per 1,000 students, a decrease from 2005-06 when that number was 7.90 acts per 1,000 students. Forty percent, or 1,004 schools, of all schools reported no acts of crime or violence and 72 percent, or 1,812 schools, of all schools reported five or fewer acts last year.
As has been consistently reported in previous years, the large majority of incidents reported were in categories considered non-violent: 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.
State Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee said that school safety would always be a top priority of the Board as it is with parents. "Quality teachers and strong academics are important to parents but school safety ranks number one. The State Board of Education has made safe schools one of its strategic priorities, and we will continue to explore programs that have a positive impact on the learning environment for students and the instructional environment for teachers," Lee said.
Lee referenced a number of initiatives the Board and Department have implemented or support as a means of reducing school crime and violence. These include the North Carolina Positive Behavior Support Initiative currently being used in 81 school systems as a way to address the learning environment to support high student performance and reduce behavioral problems and "Media Ready," a new media literacy substance abuse prevention program supported by First Lady Mary Easley. A total of 200 middle school literacy coaches and safe and drug free school coordinators representing all 115 school districts are receiving training in January to implement the "Media Ready" program with students in the 2008-09 school year.
State Superintendent June Atkinson said she was pleased to see that possession of a controlled substance had gone down after three years of steady increase. "I want to see similar declines in all reported areas. Principals, teachers, parents and students need to work together to ensure that our classrooms and school campuses are safe, empowering learning communities," Atkinson said.
As in past reports, three categories of incidents are responsible for more than 80 percent (84.8 percent) of all reported offenses: possession of controlled substance in violation of law, possession of a weapon excluding firearms and powerful explosives, and possession of an alcoholic beverage. Five incident types decreased: possession of controlled substance in violation of law, bomb threat, assault resulting in serious injury, assault involving use of a weapon, and taking indecent liberties with a minor.
Offenses considered violent represent 4 percent of the total acts reported. Schools that report five or more of these acts per thousand students in two consecutive years and where "conditions that contributed to the commission of those offenses are likely to continue into another school year" are deemed Persistently Dangerous Schools. In 2006-07, no public schools were identified as Persistently Dangerous Schools.
The total number of occurrences for each reportable act is listed below. Categories marked with an asterisk experienced an increase in 2006-07.
|Possession of a controlled substance in violation of law||4,339|
|Possession of a weapon excluding firearms and powerful explosives||3,925*|
|Possession of alcoholic beverage||1,081*|
|Assault on school personnel not resulting in serious injury||889*|
|Possession of a firearm or powerful explosives||139*|
|Assault resulting in serious injury||122|
|Sexual assault not involving rape or sexual offense||97*|
|Assault involving use of a weapon||94|
|Robbery without a dangerous weapon||44*|
|Burning of school building||20|
|Robbery with a dangerous weapon||5*|
|Death by other than natural causes||0|
|Taking indecent liberties with a minor||0|
As in previous years, the number and frequency of acts is the lowest in elementary schools (grades pre-K-5) and highest at the high school level. Possession of a weapon excluding firearms and powerful explosives is the most reported act at the elementary and middle grade levels while possession of a controlled substance in violation of law is the most reported act at the high school level.
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.
Today's report is based on information provided by all 115 local school districts and 93 charter schools. Under North Carolina law, schools are required to report 17 specific 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 in 2001-02 to its current 17 reportable acts.
For more information regarding the crime and violence report, please contact the NCDPI’s Communications division at 919.807.3450.
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- Table 6A. Total Number of Acts for Each LEA and Charter Schools 2006-07
- Table 6B. Total Number of Acts for Individual Schools in each LEA 2006-07
- 2006-2007 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.