Urban, Rural, Suburban: Which Schools are the Most Dangerous Schools?
Quick, answer this question at a gut level without looking up the answer:
Are students most likely to be the victim of violence in rural schools, in suburban schools, or in urban schools?
Got your answer?
Great. Now let’s head to the National Center for Education Statistics’ Indicators of School Crime and Safety 2015 report, released just this month (May 2016), for the actual trend. From Figure 2.3 on page 28:
Many people in the United States believe that urban schools are the places where American kids are at greatest risk of violent victimization, but that belief appears to be simply untrue. Urban schools are essentially as safe as suburban schools. The schools with the highest rate of student violent victimization turn out to be rural schools.
What do you think of that, and why do you think that is?
P.S. Apart from the pattern, notice the actual counts. No matter what kind of school being considered, the number of students per 1,000 who experienced violent victimization was less than 4%. For the vast majority of American schoolchildren, school is a physically safe place to be.