America, Your Child is Safe from Murder. Your Child is Safer from Murder in School.
Last week, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released its annual report on safety in U.S. schools, bringing our knowledge of school killings up to date for the 2011-2012 school year. Our mass media worries incessantly about the murder of children in the United States, but if you read the report you’ll learn two things.
First, statistically speaking our children are safe from being murdered.
There were 77.8 million children aged 5-18 in the United States in 2012. Of all those children, just 1,199 were murdered. Of course, 1,199 children murdered is 1,199 children too many. But is it a matter of significant worry for you if your child has not been murdered and you’re thinking about the future? Not really. 1,199 is just 0.00154% of the population of kids aged 5-18. In other words, the chances that your school-aged child will be murdered is 1.5 in 100,000. If you must worry about your child (and as a parent I know that at some point it seems we must), worry about something else. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the year 2012 more than 90% of child deaths (which are in turn just 1/2 of 1% of all U.S. deaths) are caused by something other than murder.
Second, your children are 79 times more likely to be murdered out of school than in school.
When you read about some company trying to convince school districts to buy their expensive products to prevent school shootings, remember this.