About Me

My photo
Mike hopes to see the world turned upside down through local communities banding together for social change, especially churches which have recognized the radical calling to be good news to the poor, to set free the prisoners and oppressed, and to become the social embodiment of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven. He lives with the blessed memory of his wife, in Durham, NC, and has three adult children living in three different states. He also shares his life with the Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, the faculty and students of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and the faithful fans of Duke and Baylor Basketball in his neighborhood.

Popular Posts

Thursday, October 05, 2006

More information on school homicides is available with a little digging around. I had heard a commentator make a vague statement about 100 school shootings since Columbine, and later I started wondering what it meant. I tried to locate an audio recording of the original statement, but I can't figure out when or where I heard it.

But I did find out some other things. I found out something that confirmed my undocumented impressions--school violence is not something new. The worst recorded incident of school violence in the US, the homicide of 45 people, occurred in Michigan in 1927 when a man blew up a school building. I have read and heard stories of rural schools in which teachers were threatened or harmed by unruly students as far back as the 1800s. The US has been a violent place for a long time.

Moreover, the current period, notwithstanding the last couple of weeks, has shown a significant decline in school violence and homicides. In both 1992-93 and 1993-94, there were 42 homicides on school grounds. Even 1999-99, the Columbine year, was much lower than that with 25 homicides. Recent years have mostly had 10 or fewer homicides at schools. I am still disturbed by any homicide, at school or away from school. But some things, probably including better safety policies, have improved the situation of violence in schools.

Are there trends which contradict these homicide figures? I certainly read anecdotal accounts from teachers and principals of a greater level of fear of student violence toward them, but I don't have data to agree or disagree. One graph, on the same page as linked above for homicides, claims that students have become less afraid at school over recent years.

None of this changes my concerns about a violent society, disturbed conceptions of manhood, and violence against women. But it does show that our awareness of school violence has changed dramatically in recent years.

The growth of news as entertainment, voyeuristic news, and live and no longer live videotapes running over and over, round the clock, has changed our understanding of violence in schools. Dramatic televised reports of school violence have raised our perception of the frequency of school violence even though the actual incidents have declined.

No comments:

Baptist Bloggers
Powered By Ringsurf
Christian Peace Bloggers
Powered By Ringsurf