School violence in sharp dive

School violence in sharp dive

Twenty children were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on Dec. 14.

On average, more than 20 children are killed off school grounds every week, all year long.

But both those statistics—children killed in school and children killed overall—are showing sharp declines.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, “From 1994 to 2010, the rate of serious violent crime occurring on school grounds declined by 62 percent, and the rate of serious violent crime at nonschool locations declined by 83 percent.”

In other words, incidents like Sandy Hook are freakish. In most years, the number of people of all ages killed by lightning strikes is about double the number of children killed on school. School is the safest of the places children frequent. Yet there are debates going on all over the nation about how to fix the problem. They are not debates about how to deal with the far more numerous killings of children in the home and other non-school locations. These debates are aimed at the exception, not the norm. As a result, they could interfere with progress that has been made in reducing violence against the young.