Statistics Show Deadly School Violence Still Rare


According to The Oregonian (6/16, Dungca), despite the increased attention to school shootings in recent years, “deadly violence in schools is rare, data show.” The article cites a number of statistics which show that the number of students being disciplined for gun possession, the number of child homicides at schools, and the number of serious physical assaults in schools are all very low across Oregon. The article also cites comments by David Esquith, director of the Office of Safe and Healthy Students at the US Education Department, who said that a rise in large-scale attacks in high schools and colleges has reinforced the image that such violence is common. “Those events are so traumatic and horrendous that it skews our perception of what’s going on in schools,” he said. Esquith also commented on the need to reach out to emotionally or mentally troubled students. “So many of these incidents are actually suicides where they are taking other victims with them... If you just kick these kids out of school, their problem isn’t going away,” Esquith said, adding that schools should encourage students to alert others of possible trouble and train teachers to recognize the same.