• Report: Violence down overall in CMS schools, drug possession up


    CHARLOTTE - A report released Wednesday says violent acts at North Carolina schools are at their lowest point in six years. That report also says Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools still have higher than average violence rates.

    The State Board of Education report examined violence from the 2012-2013 school year.

    Criminal and violent acts cover 16 categories, ranging from assaults and robberies to drug possession.

    There were nearly 1,400 violent acts reported in CMS schools, down 11 percent from the year before.

    Sexual assaults were down 84 percent to 12 incidents.

    Reports of possession of weapons other than guns, which includes BB guns, razors, fireworks, and knives, were down 31 percent at 353 reports.

    Drug possession was up 15 percent to 500 incidents.

    The report also broke down violent acts at individual CMS schools.

    Metro School, a special education school in uptown, had the highest rate at more than 446 reports per thousand students.

    Turning Point Academy, an alternative school in north Charlotte, had more than 74 acts per thousand students.

    Smithfield Elementary School in south Charlotte also had one of the highest rates in the district at nearly 48 acts per thousand students.

    The district had an overall rate of 9.9 acts per thousand students.

    The report also noted that the total number of violent acts was down, even though enrollment was at an all-time high. CMS students were also more likely to be suspended than in other districts.

    Superintendent Heath Morrison has commissioned a task force to look for alternatives to suspension for less serious behavior.

    To read the full report, click here.

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