A new report released by the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center sheds some light on the issue. It found just 2% of all reported violent offenses in Alabama occurred in schools.
Despite all of the focus on guns in schools, the report found the use of guns in violent offenses at schools was relatively rare. Hands, fists or feet were the weapon used in 90% of violent crimes at schools.
Only 1% involved guns.
The report compiles statistics from law enforcement agencies across the state including those at colleges and universities. It covers the year 2011, the last year complete statistics are available. One homicide was reported at a college, none at an elementary or secondary school. 17 rapes, 30 robberies, 248 aggravated assaults and 1,844 simple assaults were reported in schools and colleges state wide.
The report did not go into the reasons for the crimes, but some state leaders say attacking the root causes will go a long way toward making schools safer. One idea involves mental health.
"Put in the curriculum for people who are studying to be teachers to be taught what these indicators are so we can get these children the immediate help that they need," said Sen. Vivian Figures, of Mobile.
Every school and school system is required to have a safety plan in place.
"There's not a one size fits all to this solution," said Dr. Tommy Bice, State Superintendent of Education. "The strength of these plans is that they're unique to the local community and what those identified needs are."
The last report that we could find online was from 2000 and the numbers are actually lower now than they were then. The center said the report is used to analyze the problems inherent in the criminal justice system and as a foundation for planning and budgeting.
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