A rising seven-year trend of drugs, weapons and assaults continues to plague Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, even as the system makes progress in lowering its dropout rate, says a state report quoted by the Charlotte Observer. The report showed 1,545 criminal or violent acts in the school system for 2009-10. That’s up 19 percent from the previous year. Included were 107 acts of violence, a 73 percent jump.
“The vast majority of those incidents start off the school grounds,” school board chairman Eric Davis said. “Unfortunately, it highlights the societal problems we have to deal with.”School board member Kaye McGarry said the report shows the need for tougher action against troublesome students. “Until we take charge of our schools, especially middle and high schools, the criminals are going to be in charge.” As violence and crime numbers have risen in recent years, school district leaders attributed at least part of the increase to better reporting by schools. A 2005 Observer investigation showed that the system had failed to report some violent and criminal acts, and leaders vowed to correct the problem.