School violence reports are fiction

Some Colorado schools report no violence unless a student suffers “severe bodily harm.” Students may be burned, beaten, stabbed and slashed, but their schools report zero assaults, the Denver Post reports.

Some schools report every punch thrown on the playground. Others did not include assaults that police classified as felonies.

Last school year, for example, Jefferson County schools reported 644 assaults or fights. The Aurora and Cherry Creek school districts each reported one.

A boy who needed staples to close head wounds. A girl taken to a hospital with bruised kidneys. A sexual assault. A knifing. Attacks with a flagpole and a baseball bat. These were some of the incidents police investigated in Denver, Cherry Creek or Aurora schools that reported no assaults or fights last year.

The story suggests that some schools that report many assaults simply set higher standards for student behavior; playground scuffles are reported as unacceptable violence.

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  1. Doug Sundseth says:

    For the record, Denver and Aurora school districts are probably the most violent in the state. Jefferson county, on the other hand, is solidly middle-class and upper-middle-class, and is probably a fairly average suburban school district.

    The report is completely absurd.

  2. Cousin Dave says:

    And then again, there’s the possibility that the newthink of zero tolerance has completely inverted the relationship: playground pushing and shoving is prosecuted as “assult”, using zero tolerance as justification, while students that actually commit serious assults are allowed to walk, so that the school doesn’t have to make an embarassing report. The less serious the crime, the more serious the punishment.

  3. Middle- and upper- class schools are not immune to violence. The students there are under more pressure to succeed in a competitive environment. My experience says that the rich kids are just as violent as the poor ones, but sneakier. It also depends on education and background. The most violent kids are those of the anti-intellectual “noveau riche”, whose parents struck it rich without much need for education (either formal or informal).

  4. Walter E. Wallis says:

    In Frisco a few years ago, principals were told they had better reduce expulsions of minorities if they expected raises. Expulsion down, violence up.

  5. I do not understand why it can happen even though teachers are required to report all suspected child abuse of neglect, then at the same time they can abuse the children.

    “principals were told they had better reduce expulsions of minorities if they expected raises. Expulsion down, violence up.”
    This also doesn’t make sense to me. The solution should be something like “how to make the students stop being violent,” not “how to avoid violent kids in the school.”

    Otherwise, those violent kids would be in trouble in anyways somewhere else.