A U.S. Department of Justice report released this month suggests North Carolina is struggling with certain measures of public school safety.
The study found that 17.1 percent of public school teachers in North Carolina report being threatened or physically attacked by a student in any given year. Only Florida and the District of Columbia reported higher percentages in this measure, for which the national average is 12.8 percent.
The DOJ study, titled Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2013, and co-administered by the department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics, culled statistics from 2001 to 2012.
The study also indicated that 31.9 percent of North Carolina public high school students report that illegal drugs are available on school property. Only Georgia, Maine and Nevada ranked higher, though 19 states did not offer statistics in this category.
North Carolina scored well in certain categories. The state fell below the national average for high school students being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property; high school students getting in a fight at school; and high school students using alcohol at least once in the previous month.
The study found that the total nonfatal crime victimization rate of students ages 12 to 18 at school increased from 35 victimizations per 1,000 students, in 2010, to 52 per 1,000 students, in 2012. (That statistic follows nearly two decades of steady decline.)
In 2012, students in that age range experienced about 1.4 million nonfatal victimizations at school, including 615,600 thefts and 749,200 violent victimizations.