One in 20 students was a victim of violence or theft at school in 2003, the federal government said in a report that says school crime rates about were half what they were 10 years earlier, reports the Associated Press. The school crime rate essentially has leveled off, showing no change since 2000, said to a report from the departments of Education and Justice. The drop from the early 1990s is long-standing and large enough to overcome any doubts about comparing one year to the next, says the report.
Some experts have attributed the fall in school crime to installing metal detectors, hiring more security personne,l and implementing programs aimed at curbing bullying, which can lead to more serious crimes. Others said the report routinely understates crime in schools because it is based on limited surveys and self-reporting. The data already is two to three years old, said Kenneth Trump of National School Safety and Security Services in Cleveland: “School administrators need to know what is happening today and what to anticipate tomorrow, not outdated numbers from yesteryear.”