The number of weapons confiscated in and around Boston’s public schools has risen 42 percent in the last five years, the Boston Globe reports. School police found 577 weapons, mostly knives, in the 2005-06 school year, compared with 407 during the 2001-02 school year. Violent crimes, mostly assaults and robberies, increased 14 percent during the same period to a total of 902. The crimes include assaults against teachers, other school staff, and students.
The increase in school crime has intensified police and city officials’ desire to figure out how to stop neighborhood problems from reaching the school yard. Eight out of 1,000 youths in Boston were victims of shootings this year, compared with 6 out of 1,000 in 2005. Students have told school police and principals that they fear for their safety on their way to and from school and carry weapons — including knives, box cutters, and razor blades — for protection. The students often stash the weapons in bushes, dumpsters, and planters around school grounds before entering the building, , and retrieve them on the way out.