Famous Last Words: “It Would Never Happen Here”

Famous Last Words: “It Would Never Happen Here”

School administrators, security officials, educators and community members tend to think that exceptional instances of crime and violence at schools are a phenomenon confined to certain geographic areas, socio-economic levels, and ages. While this kind of perspective is understandable, data dispels this notion completely.

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Shooting by
Type of School,
2013-2015

k-12 school violence
Source: everytownresearch.org

School administrators, security officials, educators and community members tend to think that exceptional instances of crime and violence at schools are a phenomenon confined to certain geographic areas, socio-economic levels, and ages. While this kind of perspective is understandable, data dispels this notion completely.

A recently-published study, titled: “Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2016”[1] as well as a wealth of additional data sheds concern-raising light on the scope, severity and spread of school violence.

Let’s take weapons as an example: It turns out that kids bring weapons to schools as a matter of routine (on the average, almost daily during the academic year).[2] And although we tend to hear only about cases that end up with casualties, the reality is that every year, thousands of schools take disciplinary action against students for bringing or using weapons at school.[3]

Even age is no longer an indication of immunity to weapons in schools. Kids as young as four and as old as 21 bring weapons to school, although the most “active” age for this kind of threat is between 12 and 18.

Shooting
at K-12 Schools by Type,
2013-2015

k12 shoting
Source: everytownresearch.org

Gun violence incidents at schools take place across the country, from Lecanto, Florida, to Augusta, Georgia; Marysville, Washington; Roswell, New Mexico; Sparks, Nevada; and Taft, California, to name but a few. Each year, more than 1,000 college students are arrested on weapon-related charges.

Of course, gun-related violence is by no means the only challenge; threats span from natural disasters and terrorist threats, to bullying. Here are a few additional statistics:[4]

  • In 2015, among students ages 12–18, there were about 841,100 nonfatal victimizations (incidences of theft and violence) at school.
  • In 2015, about 15% of U.S. fourth-graders and 7% of U.S. eighth-graders reported experiencing bullying at least once a month.
  • In the spring of 2014, about 15% of third-graders reported that they were frequently teased, made fun of, or called names by other students; 22% were frequently the subject of lies or untrue stories; 14% were frequently pushed, shoved, slapped, hit, or kicked.
  • In 2014, there were 27,000 criminal reported incidents against persons and property on college campuses.

The bottom line: no school and no grade is immune to the threat of violence.

It is, perhaps, noteworthy that the name of the organization that carried out one of the studies is “Everytownresearch.org”. They know.

Call TAL Global’s team of school violence experts to discuss the unique safety and security challenges of your school.

[1], [3], [4] bjs.gov, Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2016 (PDF Document)

[2] everytownresearch.org, ANALYSIS OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS (PDF Document)

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