About 16 students are murdered at U.S. schools each year, says a new government study reported by the Associated Press that shows the number and rate of slayings has held steady and is lower than in the previous decade. “Schools remain safe places for students,” said co-author Jeff Hall, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A total of 116 school-related deaths occurred from July 1999 through June 2006. That’s a lower number and rate than in previous years, which included the infamous shooting spree at Columbine High School in Colorado in April 1999 when 12 were killed. Overall, from July 1994 to June 1999, there were 172 student slayings at schools. Some 101 of 116 deaths involved single-victim incidents. One reason for the deline may be that students “know there’s a cop at school. I think that’s somewhat of a deterrent,” said Lew Cox of Violent Crime Victim Services in Tacoma, Wa.