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How Safe Are Schools?

School Safety Facts

  1. Section 2, Table 141 in The Statistical Abstract of the United States 1998 shows the following regarding the Leading Causes of Death (and overall probabilities of dying) for children in the U.S. 
     
    • boys run a much higher risk of death (from any cause) than do girls
    • the chances of a child aged 5-14 dying from any cause was 1 in 4,444 (1 in 3,745 for boys, 1 in 5,495 for girls)
    • the chances of a person aged 15-24 dying from any cause was 1 in 1,049 (1 in 712 for boys, 1 in 2,079 for girls)
    • accidents were the leading cause of death for all ages in the U.S. through age 24
    • children aged 5-14 are over 6 times as likely to die in an accident as to be murdered (6.16 times for boys, 6.8 times for girls)
    • people aged 15-24 are almost twice as likely to die in an accident than to be murdered (1.66 times for males, 3.35 times for females)
       
  2. From the statistics shown below, it is safe to say that
  1. Facts about schools in the U.S.

     during the 1995-96 school year

  2.  
    Public Schools

    # of schools

    # of students enrolled

    Elementary

    61,165

    32,341,000

    Secondary

    20,997

    12,500,000

    Combined

    2,796

    N/A
    Other

    2,167

    N/A

    Total

    87,125

    44,841,000

    Private Schools

    # of schools

    # of students enrolled

    Elementary N/A

    4,427,000

    Secondary N/A

    1,260,000

    Total

     

    5,687,000

    Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1998
                
    Section 4: Education (Tables 255 and 270)

     
    during the 2001-02 school year

    Public Schools

    # of schools

    # of students enrolled

    Elementary

    65,228

    30,946,000

    Secondary

    22,180

    15,215,000

    Combined

    5,288

    1,275,000
    Other

    1,416

    82,000

    Total

    94,112

    47,518,000

    Private Schools

    # of schools

    # of students enrolled

    Elementary 16,530

    2,831,000

    Secondary 2,538

    807,000

    Combined

    8,155

    1,525,000

    Total

    27,223

    5,163,000

    Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2004-05
                
    Section 4: Education (Tables 228 and 246)
     

  3. Deaths on school grounds (includes children and adults, killings and suicides)
  4. School Year # of Deaths

    1992-93

    55

    1993-94

    51

    1994-95

    20

    1995-96

    35

    1996-97

    25

    1997-98

    40

    1998-99

    26

    Source: the National Center for Education Statistics' Violence and Discipline Problems in U.S. Public Schools, quoted in School House Hype: School shootings and the real risks kids face in America.  The figure for the 1998-99 school year is from the press release announcing the Justice Policy Institute's 2000 report School House Hype: Two Years Later.

  5. Deaths on school property

     during the combined 1992-93/1993-94 school years
    1. 76 students died.
    1. 29 non-students died.
    2. Of the 105 deaths

Source: Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 1998 (U.S. Departments of Education and Justice)

 during the 1999-2000 school year

    1. 22 students died.
  • 16 murders
  •   6 suicides
    1. 10 non-students died.

Source: Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2004 (U.S. Departments of Education and Justice)

  1. Children aged 5-19 murdered in the U.S.
  2.     # of murders # of murderers identified by age # of murderers under 18
    1995

    Total

    2,428

    1,265

    304 (24%)

     

    male

    1,735

       
     

    female

    693

       
    1996

    Total

    1,960

    1,053

    252 (24%)

     

    male

    1,385

       
     

    female

    572

       
     

    unknown

    3

       
    1997

    Total

    1,733

    941

    207 (22%)

     

    male

    1,220

       
     

    female

    512

       
     

    unknown

    1

       
    2003

    Total

    2,030

    N/A N/A
     

    male

    1,861

       
     

    female

    167

       
     

    unknown

    2

       

    Source: the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, 1995-2003
     

  3. Children aged 5-19 who committed suicide in the U.S.
  4. Year

    # of suicides among those 5-19 years old

    1992

    2,161

    1993

    2,205

    1994

    2,270

    1995

    2,227

    1996

    2,119

    Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1999
                   
    Section 2: Vital Statistics
                                      Table #149: Suicides by Race, Age and Method: 1980 to 1996

    Year # of suicides among those 5-19 years old Male Female
    2002

    1,773

    1,476 297

    Source: Leading Causes of Death, 2002 (National Center for Health Statistics)

  1. According to the authors of School House Hype: School shootings and the real risks kids face in America

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original web posting: Tuesday, May 4, 1999
last modified: Tuesday, April 07, 2009