(p. A9) Americans believe schools are more unsafe today than they were two decades ago, according to a new poll — even as federal data shows that by most measures, schools have become safer.
. . .
A survey last month of 1,063 adults by The Associated Press and the N.O.R.C. Center at the University of Chicago found that 74 percent of parents of school-age children, and 64 percent of nonparents, believed schools were more unsafe today than they were in 1999. Only 35 percent of parents said they felt “very confident” that their child was safe at school.
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Their fears run counter to the data presented in a federal report released this week. School is still among the safest places an American child can be.
Homicide is a leading cause of death for American youth, but the vast majority of those deaths take place at home or in the neighborhood. Between 1992 and 2016, just 3 percent of youth homicides and 1 percent of youth suicides took place at school, according to the federal report.
School crime levels decreased between 2001 and 2017. The number of students between 12 and 18 years old who reported being the victim of a violent crime at school over the past six months dropped from 2 to 1 percent. Incidents of theft, physical fights, the availability of illegal drugs and bullying also went down.
These changes echo the national drop in crime.
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(Note: the online version of the story also has the date April 20, 2019, but has the title “20 Years After Columbine, Schools Have Gotten Safer. But Fears Have Only Grown.”)