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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
• a child's risk of being murdered in any given year is roughly 1 in 25,000
• children run a much greater risk (between 50 and 100 times greater) of being murdered away from school than at school
• adults murder children 3 times as often as children murder other children
• killings on school property (and murders of children in general) have been declining since the early 1990s
• child suicide is as big a problem as child murder
• boys are at much higher risk of being murdered than are girls
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.
• 63 murders
• 13 suicides
1. 29 non-students died.
2. Of the 105 deaths
• 87 were male
• 18 were female

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
• The number of kids killed by gun violence each year in schools (40 on average in the period 1992-98) is about half the number of Americans killed each year by lightning strikes (88 in 1997).  NOAA has published statistics on deaths from lightning during the period 1959-94.  Their report states, "There were 3239 Storm Data deaths in the US from 1959 to 1994 (Table 3 and Figure 4 and 5) for an average of 90 per year. The same analysis can be made for deaths using the network-detected ground strikes as in the previous section for casualties. The result is one death for every 345,000 flashes in the US."
• Any given child has roughly a 1 in a million chance of being killed by a gun on school grounds in any given school year.  (In School House Hype: Two Years Later, the authors show that since their original report this risk has been cut in half to roughly 1 in 2 million.)