Sunday, April 24, 2011


Note: Scroll down right margin to CODE "(A-21) SCHOOL VIOLENCE" for free videos and articles on this topic.

Dear Mr. Morton- I have heard much conflicting information about the violence in our schools. There are stockpiles of information on the topic online, but the statistics on its occurrence conflict and experts disagree as to the causes and what to do about it. I don’t even know how concerned I should be about the safety of my children. Where can one obtain reliable data online? -- Concerned Parent.

Dear Parent- If people preach that our classrooms have gone from safe havens to potential war zones, don’t believe them. American parents send 50 million children to 80,000 schools each day, and the chance of one becoming a fatality to violent crime in or around a school is roughly one in a million.

Nationally, the number of students killed by violence has not increased, staying at about fifty-five each year over the last decade. The total number of firearm events has decreased steadily since the 1992-93 school year, due to intensified security
precautions. Few of us are pacified, however, because of the new twist in the
nature of this diminishing deadly violence. We are upset by the increase in the number of multiple victim events. During the past three school years, an average of five multiple victim events per year occurred, up from only one per year from 1992-95. No longer does a enraged student single out a specific victim when his anger boils over. These days, the violence is aimed at multiple victims in some broad division of the student body, and includes bystanderscaught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Prevention of school violence begins at home, and parents and school administrators must communicate. In 1998, fifty-seven percent of elementary and secondary principals reported at least one crime serious enough to summon the police. Be thankful if your principal doesn’t have his/her head stuck in the sand.

These websites offer well-researched information on school violence:

(1) ol_vi.htm



Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. has retired from his positions as school psychologist and adjunct professor in the School of Leadership & Policy Studies at BGSU. Contact him at the Family Journal's secure Bpath Mail Form.