CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina is among 10 "states of concern" when it comes to school violence and threats.
Half of all incidents of school violence and threats of violence during the 2017-2018 school year were logged in just 10 states according to a report released Monday from an organization that studies school violence.
The report from the Educator’s School Safety Network found that of 3,654 reported incidents of violence and threats of violence, half came from what the organization calls its top 10 “states of concern.”
The states of concern, ranked by a composite score that included four sub-categories, are California, Florida, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina and Virginia. Those 10 states accounted for 1,851 acts of violence in the 2017-18 school year.
The report shows 103 threats and 13 incidents were reported at North Carolina schools during the 2017-2018 school year.
The after-school tutoring program, Reaching for the Stars, starts Sept. 13. It is a free program that helps support CMS at-risk students.
“Having more school counselors onboard gives them the necessary tools they need before the violence occurs,” tutor Dee Cam said.
The ESSN is a not-for-profit organization “dedicated to empowering educators with education-based school safety training and resources.”
One of the four sub-categories ESSN used to grade states was the number of threats per school by state population. The top states for violent incidents per million residents are Michigan, Ohio, Alabama, Kentucky, Washington, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, Colorado and Idaho.
According to the report, violence in schools has increased in the past year, in some cases pushing states ranked toward the bottom of the list of violent incidents in the 2016-17 school year – such as Mississippi, Idaho and Kentucky -- into the top 10 for incidents in the last school year.
The number of threats reported from schools increased by 62 percent in the 2017-18 school year, the report noted. The number of violent incidents reported – 279 for the school year – was a 133 percent increase over the 2016-17 school year.
The report defined “threats of violence” as “bomb threats, threats involving a weapon (such as a gun), threats involving both guns and bombs, generalized threats of violence, and other school-based threats when the specific nature of the threat was not reported (unknown or unspecified threats).”
“Incidents of violence,” per the report, included “events where something actually occurred (not just a threat). These included shootings, shots fired, weapons present, suspicious items, actual explosive devices, detonations, intruders, attacks, suicides on campus etc.”
Other findings from the report:
- Washington state was not in the top 10 in any metric for the 2016-2017 school year. This year, however, it is one of the states of concern for incidents both by the numbers and when figured per capita.
- Alabama continues to be a top 10 state of concern for incidents for the second year in a row, both in the number and per capita. It remains third in the nation in incidents per capita for the second year in a row.
- Kentucky went from 40th in threats per million residents in the 2016-2017 school year to eighth, a significant increase.
- Vermont, Montana, Idaho were ranked as a concern in both threats and incidents per capita. These three states were in last place for incidents per million residents in the 2016-2017 school year and moved to second, fourth, and sixth places respectively for the 2017-2018 school year.
- Mississippi, also ranked 51st in incidents last year, ranked in seventh place in both threats and incidents per capita, moving it to the sixth most concerning state overall.
- In threats per capita, Montana moved from 45th in the 2016-2017 school year to fourth this year.
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