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Why is it important for schools to report crimes?
First and foremost, the best reason why school officials should report crimes is because it is the right thing to do. Schools are not islands of lawlessness where the criminal law does not apply, and it should not even be a debatable issue as to whether or not they have this "option" to report as unfortunately far too many school administrators believe they do.
Another important reason for reporting school crimes is that the first steps in managing and preventing violence are to acknowledge the problem and report the incidents. Properly responding to an incident starts with acknowledging it occurred and by making a police report. This kicks in the criminal justice system, which can and should work simultaneously with the school's administrative, disciplinary system. There is no "double jeopardy" when both systems are engaged.
Accurately reporting incidents also is the first step in developing effective prevention strategies. If school officials accurately report incidents, the documented data can be used for early identification of trends, identification of crime patterns, and to provide related red flags so school and safety officials can intervene before a problem becomes entrenched. For example, we know that cities and schools go through a lengthy period of denial when gangs emerge, and this denial actually exacerbates the growth and entrenchment of gangs.
Yet another reason for reporting school crimes is that we are actually doing a disservice to kids if we teach them that they can commit crimes at school and there will be no criminal justice consequences. How can we allow kids to get away with committing crimes throughout their school years and then, all of a sudden, when they commit a crime in the community and the criminal justice system kicks in, they feel as if they're being targeted, harassed, discriminated against, etc.? It is setting kids up for failure if we send them the messages that schools are islands of lawlessness where the criminal law does not apply. Many would say doing so is child abuse!
Federal school crime and violence stats understate the extent of school crime, and fail to count all actual school crimes
Federal statistics grossly underestimate the extent of school crime and violence. Public perception tends to overstate school crime and violence. Reality exists somewhere in between --- but statistically, nobody knows exactly where this "somewhere" is in numbers because there is no federal mandatory K-12 school crime reporting and tracking law in the United States.
Federal crime reporting requirements were established for colleges and universities in 1990 under the "Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990," later formally named the Clery Act. No such federal law exists for K-12 schools. And there is no indication that anyone in Congress or the education community plans to create such crime reporting requirements for our nation's elementary and secondary schools.
It is also important to understand that the lack of a federal mandatory school crime reporting and tracking law for K-12 schools means that on a national level, no one actually knows in real numbers how many crimes occur on K-12 school campuses nationwide. School crime and violence statistics put out by the federal government, such as their "Indicators of School Crime and Safety" reports, are based upon self-report surveys and other limited academic surveys and research --- not actual reported school crimes in K-12 schools throughout the United States. Unlike the FBI, which collects Uniform Crime Reports based upon actual reported crimes to law enforcement, federal education reports are based only on limited academic research surveys, not a comprehensive collection of actual reported crimes to law enforcement nationwide.
Furthermore, even the federal surveys are outdated and questionable in content. The fed's 2004 report on the "Indicators of School Crime" only cited survey data as recent as around 2000 to preliminary data in 2002. Even the number of school-associated violent deaths were not up-to-date.
We find it ironic that here at a private consulting firm we can have more accurate and current counts on school-associated violent deaths than a federal agency which spends millions and billions a year to function. We also find it odd that our school death stats show a spike in the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 school years, while the federal government is simultaneously telling the American public that school crime has dramatically declined.
State school crime reporting requirements vary and lack enforcement
A number of states created legislation following the spate of national school shootings in the late 1990s to require local school districts to report school crimes to state departments of education and/or other state authorities. The specific requirements vary state to state and the quality of reporting to states by local districts has repeatedly come into question.
The problem with state school crime reporting requirements is simply that there are few, if any, rewards for schools that accurately report crimes and no meaningful consequences for those that fail to do so. In general there is no real auditing or enforcement. Even in cases where local daily newspapers have investigated and identified gross inaccuracies in local school district crime reports to states and to police, most school districts are quick to claim "clerical errors" or a "lack of understanding of the law and guidelines" for reporting --- and nobody is ever significantly held accountable with substantive consequences.
School crimes are underreported to police, states, and to the public
There are countless documented examples of serious school crime and serious incident underreporting, non-reporting, and delayed reporting across the United States. For example:
- November 17, 2009: Greenwood, Arkansas -
Associated Press and Southwest Times Record articles indicated that on
October 1, 2009, an elementary school principal delayed reporting a suicide
threat by a school employee for an hour and 45 minutes. The employee
reportedly made the suicide threat when told of potential employee
disciplinary action around 3:00pm, but police were not notified until
4:45pm. During this time, the employee reportedly was unsupervised and
remained in the school with children present. When officers arrived,
the principal reportedly complained about the number of officers that had
responded. She later reportedly apologized. It took police some time
to locate the employee who, went found, was alone and admitted having
- September 21-23, 2009: Miami-Dade's CBS-4
I-Team presented a multi-story investigation into major discrepancies
between school police data in Miami-Dade Schools and school violence data
for the school district posted on the Florida State Department of
Education's web site. In one example, police found and reported 152
weapons during the 2006-07 school year, but the State DOE web site showed
zero weapons in the district. The State web site showed 21 school drug
cases during that year, while school police reports showed 177 for the same
time period. One particularly interesting section of the I-Team story reads:
years ago DOE just posted the data straight from each school district on its
website. But a few years back it got a grant to have Florida State
University's Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research "massage" and
"clean" the data before putting it up on the website. The cost to taxpayers
to do that and further complicate and muddy this violence picture for
parents? $1.5 million dollars. The $1.5 million was paid for over a three
year period by a federal grant. It's a grant that expired in August, 2008."
- September 4, 2009: The Daily Journal in Vineland, New Jersey,
reported State Department of Education officials determined school officials
did not properly report incidents of school violence in the 2007-08 school
year. The investigation stemmed from a lawsuit by a district assistant
principal who claims his civil rights were violated after he spoke out about
unreported incidents of violence at a school. The State indicated 18
of 58 incidents the assistant principal identified should have been reported
to the State, but were not, according to the State report. The lawsuit
was pending at the time of this report.
- August 18, 2009: Philadelphia news stations carried stories of the
elimination of the Office of Safe Schools Advocate for Philadelphia,
Jack Stollsteimer, a former assistant US Attorney appointed to monitor
school crime and violence in Philadelphia Schools. While the State
claimed the cuts were for budgetary reasons, Stollsteimer alleged the cuts
were due to his advocacy and unwillingness to not document failures by the
school district to report school crimes.
- November 12,
2008: Houston, Texas, KHOU I-Team reviewed police reports from over
three years for 21 county schools. The investigation found major
discrepancies between what was reported locally and what was reported to the
Texas Education Agency, the state's education department. In one example
cited in the story, the Crosby ISD in the 2005-2006 school year did not
report one fighting incident to the state. But police records showed 53
fight reports in the school district during that time. Police made seven
arrests for drug possession, but Crosby ISD reported zero students
disciplined for drugs in their report to the state. In another
district, a case reported by the police and prosecuted as a sexual assault
was reported to the state as a "violation of student code of conduct."
The I-Team found other examples as well.
- June 29, 2008:
The Florida Sun Sentinel reported discrepancies in school crime data in two
state reports. For Palm Beach County Schools,
Indicators Report showed property-related crimes at county schools rose from
326 in 2005-06 to 2,093 in 2006-07, a 542 percent increase. Yet the Safety
Incident Report for the same time period shows an increase in vandalism,
theft and breaking-and-entering cases from 329 to 346, a 5.2 percent rise.
- January 17, 2008, Philadelphia Inquirer story reported that a
state-appointed school safety monitor reported that two incidents at an
elementary school were not reported to police as required. One
incident involved a student with a 5-inch knife and the other involved a
student attempting to stab a classmate with scissors. In the same
week, the monitor reported that a different school failed to report a
serious assault and failed to remove the student who committed the assault
from the school. The monitor was quoted as saying that the incidents were
part of a larger problem of a failing disciplinary system in the district.
- November 27, 2007, Associated Press story out of Jackson, Mississippi,
reported on discrepancies between incident numbers reported by state
officials versus that reported by local school officials. One example cited
was state information obtained by The Clarion-Ledger newspaper showed
Jackson Public Schools had more than 11,000 total suspensions and expulsions
the prior school year, while the district said it had 540. The
district said that the difference was because the district only counted the
most serious disciplinary cases that came before the school board.
- October 14-16, 2007, Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) series reported
on how disciplined teachers remained on the job and the information was kept
confidential and not available to those seeking it. A number of
specific cases were discussed. The article referenced how both local
districts and state education department practices made it difficult, if not
impossible, for parents and others to obtain information on disciplined
- October 6, 2007, Washington Post article reported that Prince George's
County Schools was conducting an internal investigation into its school
security department incident reporting processes due to discrepancies
between security reports and suspensions for serious incidents. In
2005-06 school year, the district reported more than 22,000 suspensions to
the state, but the security office only filed 1,679 reports. While
many of the suspensions were not serious enough to require security reports,
gaps still existed. The story reported that 158 students were
suspended for arson, fire, and explosives in 2005-06, but the security
office only filed 13 such reports. The district suspended 148 students for
sex offenses, but the security office filed only 20 reports. The district
suspended 492 students for taking guns, knives, and other weapons to school,
but the security office only filed 311 reports.
- October 6, 2007, TheIndyChannel.com reported on an incident in Trafal
Gar, Indiana, where two middle school boys had been fighting the week prior
during class and a 13-year-old was stabbed with a stitch puller he was
holding in science. The victim required stitches. Parents of the
victim were upset that school officials did not report the incident to
police. The school's superintendent was quoted as saying that the
incident, "...happened very quickly. It was a very hectic day and we
- A September 27, 2007, Seattle Post Intelligencer story and a September 28,
Seattle Times story reported on a widespread number of crimes in Seattle
Public Schools that went unreported to police. A three-month-old sexual
assault that had never been reported to police by the school, according to
the Post-Intelligencer story. Assaults and robberies were among the
other crimes not reported, according to the story. The
Post-Intelligencer report that at one high school,
a 15-year-old female alternative school student was caught carrying 15
nails, two cans of Mace and a 1 1/2 -foot crescent wrench "marijuana-type
substance," and a lighter, but police were not called. The Times story
indicated that there were over 1,000 incidents that included threats,
robberies, assaults, sexual assaults, and weapons possession which appeared
to have not been reported to police. One parent reported that school
officials had actually tried to talk her out of reporting an assault on her
daughter that ended up with the daughter getting a fractured nose,
concussion, and other injuries.
- September 10 and 11, 2007, New York Daily News stories reported on a
story where school officials at Jamaica High School in Queens allegedly
waited over an hour to call 911 for a 14-year-old female student who had a
stroke. The school's assistant principal had reportedly issued a memo
advising that no deans in the school were allowed to call 911.
The student lost use of her right hand and leg, and had to relearn how to
speak and walk. Family members claim that the time lost in calling 911 may
have caused her condition to be worse due to the lost time.
According to the story,
earlier in the year in February the school was put on the city's list of
dangerous schools, and some staff members felt pressure to drive down the
- A February 22, 2007, New York Post story reported on a survey report released by a city public advocate claiming that the city's education department was grossly under-reporting the number of school safety incidents. The story says the education department claimed just eight schools experienced 180 or more incidents (crimes or non-criminal disturbance), yet the advocate's survey found that 18 of 158 principals and administrators surveyed said they handled more than 180 incidents over the period of the 2004-05 school year. There are about 1,450 schools in the system, according to the story.
- A February 22, 2007, Associated Press story from Columbia, SC, reported on a high school principal being charged for hindering the investigation of a cheerleading coach who allegedly gave students beer. Police said that after telling the principal the police planned to talk with each cheerleader, the principal allegedly called a squad meeting of the cheerleaders and told them not to talk with anyone. Deputies reportedly believe the principal knew the coach was giving alcohol to students but did not report the information to authorities, according to police quoted in the story.
- A September 20, 2006, Washington Post story reported on a 77-page report released by the Montgomery County, MD, Council's Office of Legislative Oversight indicating that although the county's school district has tracked school incidents since 1973, offense figures are not released publicly and the information is not detailed enough to allow school officials to identify trends. The report recommended that school, police, and state's attorney's office create guidelines for what types of incidents must be reported to authorities.
- A September 3, 2006, Philadelphia Inquirer story reported on questionable school crime and violence data in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Philadelphia only reported one incident of theft to the state for 2004-05, but listed more than 1,000 in its own annual district report in which it claimed a 99% decline in school violence during 2003-04 and 2004-05, according to the story. No vandalism or disorderly conduct was reported to the state, yet the district's own report listed more than 4,300 incidents, the story said. Almost three-quarters of all Pennsylvania districts reported no incidents of bullying during 2004-05 school year, about half reported no student disorderly conduct, and just over half listed fewer than five fighting incidents. In New Jersey, more than 21% of all school district entities reported no violence including assaults, fighting, and other serious offenses. A little under half said there was either one or no vandalism incidents during the school year. Numerous other discrepancies and/or questionable data were also reported in the story.
- An August 28, 2006, story in the Camden (NJ) Courier-Post questioned the accuracy of Camden School District state reports on school violence, in which the district reportedly claimed a 99% decline in school violence during 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. The incidents reportedly dropped from 976 in 2002-2003 to 222 in 2003-2004 and 13 in 2004-2005. The state's school report card was said to show one expulsion in 2003-2004 and one in 2004-2005, yet district legal invoices showed the Board convened at least six expulsion hearing meetings involving 21 different students during the two years.
- An August 9, 2006, story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported on a Fayette County high school incident where school officials reportedly knew about a student who allegedly planned to bring weapons the first day of school, but failed to act on it prior to the opening of school. The 17-year-old was arrested on the first day of school, August 7th, after he was found to have a 4-inch switchblade in school. A search of his car in the school parking lot found two rifles, two handguns, ammunition and a black, ninja-type outfit with mask, gloves, and a sword. School officials reportedly claimed they were dealing with unsubstantiated information and decided to wait until the opening of school.
- An August 8, 2006, story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution documented significant discrepancies and questions surrounding the accuracy and consistency of school discipline incident reports by local districts to state education officials.
- A June 2, 2006, Kansas City Star story reported that the Johnson County District Attorney issued a warning letter to Shawnee Mission School District advising the district to do a better job reporting crimes to authorities after two incidents allegedly went unreported to police. One incident involved a reported student threat to kill a teacher. A month prior, the District Attorney's office filed charges against an elementary school nurse for failing to report child abuse.
- A May 23, 2006, story in The Times Union from Albany, New York, reported on a press conference the day before by New York State Comptroller, Alan Hevesi, blamed local school administrators and NY State Department of Education for underreporting and covering up school crimes. Hevesi referred to the situation as a "widespread cover-up" according to the article. The auditors reviewed records of 17 high schools from 15 school districts. In Albany High School, officials reported 144 incidents to the state office, but auditors found 924 violent or disruptive incidents during the 2003-04 school year, according to the story. The Times Union story reported on other findings including: at least 10 schools failed to report incidents in which weapons were involved; schools were allowed to revise their reports with little documentation; and more than 2,300 schools submitted their reports late. A few school officials said they were underreporting because they assumed that neighboring districts were doing the same and they didn't want to look bad, the story cited Hevesi as saying.
- A January 5, 2006, Indianapolis Star story reported that an exclusive private school expelled a 16-year-old after school officials allegedly found a 9mm Glock loaded with 17 rounds and other loaded magazine in the boy's sport utility vehicle on campus. Another male student, age 17, was reportedly suspended in connection with the incident. Police reports were said to indicate that the students were sent home before police arrived and that the headmaster of the school called the school attorney before calling police, "to find out what procedure I should take."
- A December 7, 2005, story in the Denver Post documented serious discrepancies in state school accountability reports on school crime and violence reporting. In one case, a high school that reported no fights or assaults for the entire school year actually had a student stabbed to death in an altercation in the school's cafeteria. The state's largest school district reported a drop in fights and assaults from 644 in one year to zero (0) in this reporting year.
- An August 26, 2005, story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution highlighted a federal audit citing three Georgia school districts as underreporting school crimes required to be reported under the "persistently dangerous school" law requirement. The report identified incidents including felony drug and weapons offenses, a terroristic threat and an aggravated battery that were not included on the systems' reports. The report claims that one district failed to report 28 misdemeanor drug incidents and three felony drug incidents.
- A story in the August 10, 2005, edition of The Augusta Chronicle in Augusta, Georgia, reported on an alleged school shooting incident on May 5, 2005, at the Augusta Preparatory Day School which was not reported to the county sheriff's department.
- A June of 2005 report in the Denver Post documented serious discrepancies in information such as the number of students caught with dangerous weapons or drugs, the number expelled or suspended for the offenses, and how often police were notified, in annual School Accountability Reports to parents. The story states that although 454 schools reported at least one dangerous-weapon incident last year, just two in five told education officials that they had reported the incidents to police, as required by state law. A total of 234 of incidents appear in Department of Education records to have ignored state law by not expelling the violators, according to the report.
- A June 28, 2005, Education Daily article reported on an audit of Texas, Iowa, and Georgia by the U.S. Department of Education's Inspector General which found that states continue to underreport violent school incidents, supply inaccurate data, and fail to adequately oversee local implementation of federal requirements for reporting school crimes. The findings mirror an earlier similar repot on California, the story said.
- In March of 2005, in Columbus, Ohio, administrators at one high school attracted national attention for allegedly not reporting to police a sexual attack on a female student which had occurred on an auditorium stage and for one administrator allegedly attempting to discourage the victim's father from calling police out of fear it would generate media attention. Criminal charges for failing to report the crime were later made against the principal, who was terminated by the district according to media reports. The principal was later cleared of the criminal charges.
- In April of 2003, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that the state's largest school district (Gwinnett County) failed to report over 24,000 serious incidents, including fights, thefts and drug, sex and weapons offenses, to the state as required by state law. In May of 2003, the same newspaper reported that 40 of Atlanta's 91 schools failed to report any discipline data to the state.
- A series of reports from May - September of 2003 in The Roanoke Times documented police concerns of school crime underreporting and the transfer of a school resource officer from a school after he acknowledged telling a reporter that he had concerns that school crimes were not being reported to police. Other internal police memos obtained by the paper documented similar concerns.
- In July of 2002, The Press of Atlantic City reported that more than 130 incidents from across 12 schools were not reported to the state in the 2000-2001 state reports on violence and vandalism. Incidents not reported included incidents involving assaults with injuries requiring hospital trips, a weapon, vandalism, and multiple involving arrests.
- Surveys of our nation's school-based police officers conducted by Kenneth Trump consistently indicate that school crimes are already underreported to law enforcement. In four annual surveys of school-based police officers (up to more than 700 officers per year), our surveys have found the following percentages of officers stating that school crimes nationwide are underreported to law enforcement:
- 2004 survey: 86%
- 2003 survey: 87%
- 2002 survey: 89%
- 2001 survey: 84%
School police officers surveyed in 2003 also indicated that they believe that a federal law mandating school crime reporting would improve school safety.
There are countless other examples of school crimes not being reported. Any respected, experienced school safety professional, and most honest educators, will acknowledge that the underreporting of school crimes is a problem which has existed for decades.
"Persistently Dangerous School" component of NCLB
The "persistently dangerous school" component of the federal No Child Left Behind law only increases the risk of further school crime underreporting. To avoid creating a politically dangerous relationship with local districts, state education officials may feel pressured to create definitions of "persistently dangerous" in a manner that local schools will likely never meet or, on the other extreme, create definitions that are rigid and impractical. Since being labeled as "persistently dangerous" has serious political and administrative implications for local school administrators, principals will be pressured to underreport and/or non-report school crime and violence. See our web page on "Persistently Dangerous Schools" for more details.
Understanding the "politics" of school crime reporting
Most parents view their school leaders as individuals who love children and are committed to educating them. By far, the vast majority of educators indeed fit this description.
However, most parents do not realize that principals, superintendents, and school board members also operate in very political climates. They face an enormous amount of real and perceived public scrutiny and pressure on a multitude of hot button issues. One of the most politically charged issues is actually school safety.
Far too many principals, superintendents, and school board members still believe that the public will perceive them to be incompetent leaders and poor managers if the public becomes aware of crimes, violence, and serious discipline problems which occur in their schools. Far too many also believe that if they even talk about school security and emergency preparedness measures, it will alarm many parents and draw adverse media attention (many deem ANY media attention as being adverse, even when it is not). They also believe that what they perceive as "negative attention" that would be drawn from public awareness on school safety issues will also somehow jeopardize the public confidence in their leadership and, in turn, potentially jeopardize voter funding requests and parental/community support of the school district.
Interestingly enough, most parents believe just the opposite. Parents tell us time and time again that their biggest fears are that there are not enough security measures in place at their children's schools and that school emergency planning is "not on the radar" of their school administrators. While some school officials too often are afraid of creating fear and an adverse image of themselves by talking about ---and dealing with ---school security and emergency preparedness issues, their resulting silence and inaction actually creates the very fear and negative images they so desperately want to avoid in the eyes of parents and the media.
Why do so many local school administrators underreport school crime? The answer tends to fall into one of two categories:
1) Many school administrators fail to distinguish crimes from violations of school rules. As such, many crimes are handled "administratively" with disciplinary action, such as suspension or expulsion, but are never also reported to police for criminal prosecution. Oftentimes this is due to a lack of training of principals on distinguishing crimes from disruptive school rule violations, and/or a lack of clear policies and procedures (and a lack of enforcement for those that do exist) on reporting school crimes to police.
2) Far too many school administrators believe that by reporting school crimes to the police, they will draw adverse media and public attention to their school. These school administrators believe that parents and the community will view them as poor managers of their schools if their school has a high number of incidents or appears in the media because of a school crime incident. Many building administrators (principals) are pressured by central office administrators and/or school boards, either directly or indirectly, if their school crime reports, discipline cases, suspensions or expulsions, etc. are "high" or "higher" than other schools.
These "image" concerns result in the underreporting of school crimes for political and image purposes. Sadly, the honest principal who deals head-on with incidents and reports crimes, often unfairly suffers adverse political consequences while the principal who fails to report incidents and sweeps them under the carpet is rewarded administratively and from a public relations perspective for allegedly having a "safer" school. The reality is that the principal with the higher statistics may actually have a safer school because he or she deals with the problems head-on and reports incidents.
There is also an element of politics at the state and federal levels of government regarding school crime reporting. At the state level, school crime and serious incident reporting is conducted on a "good faith" effort with little-to-no proactive auditing, enforcement, or consequences for schools that fail to report. Accurate reporting would require a massive, labor-intensive initiative supported by education programs for educators and proactive enforcement to insure compliance, along with meaningful consequences for those who fail to report. Politically, state governments do not have the funds, or do not want to invest the funds, to create such systems and to deal with the political aspects of enforcing such a reporting process.
Another issue at the federal and state levels is that if public officials acknowledge that school crime is prevalent and/or increasing, then they will be expected by parents and the community to invest additional resources in dealing with the problem. It is hard, especially at a time of tightened state and federal budgets, to cut school safety funding (which is what is currently being done) while at the same time acknowledging that school crime is a serious concern and/or is increasing. It is easier, however, if everyone simply believes what they want to hear and what they are being mislead to believe: That school crime is continually decreasing.
Federal and state officials would also face a strong lobbying by education associations, either openly or behind the scenes, against mandatory school crime reporting laws --- especially if these mandates were unfunded. Federal and state elected officials would have much stronger, vocal opposition to such laws than they would have strong, vocal, and organized lobbying for such a bill. As a result, there is no substantial political pressure upon federal and state officials to create meaningful school crime reporting laws with "teeth" (consequences) for those who fail to report, but lots of pressure on them NOT to do so.
The first step in dealing with school crime and violence is acknowledging that it exists and reporting crimes when they occur. School leaders and elected officials often fail to recognize that student safety is a greater priority to most parents than academic achievement. Parents expect schools to acknowledge and deal with problems head-on, while schools often fail to do so out of fear that parents will look negatively upon them for doing so.
Local school officials are actually in the best position to address this issue regardless of state and federal obstacles. Local school districts can work in cooperation with their city or county law enforcement agencies, and/or their own in-house school security or school police departments, to create accurate reporting procedures and instruments for their schools and school districts. A meaningful local school incident reporting system and policies can exist and, in fact, does in a number of school districts around the nation.
Still, there is clearly there is a leadership gap on school crime reporting issues, particularly at the federal level. There is also clearly a serious school crime and discipline underreporting problem in this nation. Most of all, parents and the community are far too often being mislead and given a false sense of security by limited federal and state claims of decreasing school crimes or lower school crimes and serious disciplinary incidents than what actually exist in our schools.
Until we acknowledge these points and take some meaningful action, nobody will honestly know how many crimes occur in our K-12 schools. We will also not have accurate and comprehensive data on which to base our prevention, intervention, and enforcement strategies.