A joint paper by the Heritage Foundation and Lexington Institute
As American students head back to school, many parents will worry about their children’s safety at school during the coming year, especially in cities including the nation’s capital. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Education reported that 11.3 percent of D.C. high school students reported being “threatened or injured” with a weapon while on school property during the previous year—a rate well above the national average.
In recent years, the District of Columbia school system has undergone significant reforms, including Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s school takeover initiative, an ambitious reform agenda under Chancellor Michelle Rhee, and implementation of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, a federal private school choice initiative. As District leaders, policymakers on Capitol Hill, and the Obama Administration consider the future of education reform in D.C. schools, ensuring that all children attend school in a safe learning environment should be a primary focus.
This report presents an analysis of the data from the Metropolitan Police Department about the incidence of school violence and criminal activity in D.C. schools, including public, private and charter schools for the 2007–2008 school year, the most recent full school year for which data were available. While these data should be interpreted with caution, this analysis should help parents and the public to judge the relative safety of schools in the nation’s capital by showing where the MPD has responded to reports of violence, crime, and other incidents at District schools.
Find Archived Articles: