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Keys To Safer Schools.com

P.O. Box 296
Bryant, AR  72089-0296
(501)246-8835
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SAFER SCHOOLS NEWS-VOL. 55 

 

FBI Reports Increase in Crime Rate for 2001

The FBI Reports 

Crime is on the Rise

2001

Learn how to identify Potentially Dangerous Students (PDS)

from  pranksters.

Download FBI's Uniform Crime Report for 2001

Learn about Programs to Combat Violence.

 

Let's Stop the violence! 

    See how KEYS can help!!

 

Due to the unique nature and the statistical implication inherent in the events of September 11, 2001, the crimes committed in those attacks are NOT included in the UCR Programís offense rate, trend or clearance data.

10/29/2002 - According to an annual report the FBI released yesterday, murder, rape, and other kinds of crime increased in the country last year for the first time in more than a decade. Some 11.8 million crimes of all kinds were reported to local and state law enforcement authorities in 2001, a 2.1 percent increase over 2000.

''We're moving in the wrong direction. The great 1990s crime drop ended with the 1990s. Like all good things, they must end,'' said James Alan Fox, a criminology professor at Northeastern University. ''What this says is, we need to go back to work. We've developed a certain level of complacency.''

When crime was a bigger policy priority, governments at all levels began implementing various crime-stopping and prevention programs, Fox said. But with budgets strained and crime long on the decrease, he said, those initiatives, such as after-school programs and more meticulous monitoring of probationers, suffered cuts in funding.

''The choices are pay for the programs now or pray for the victims later,'' he said.

The FBI report downplayed the year-to-year increase, as well as the five- and ten-year-trend numbers not normally made part of the yearly report. For example, crime is still down 10.2 percent when compared with 1997 data and down 17.9 percent from 1992.

But crime specialists dismissed the idea that the increase from 2000 seen last year was a fluke. ''The indication here is that it's the start of a turn-up [in crime], because the increase is across crime types,'' said Alfred Blumstein, a criminal justice professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

The numbers reported by CDC Violence Prevention Center and the Office of Juvenile Justice would seem to support and verify this report. The phone calls and emails that come in to Keys To Safer Schools.com is, of course, not as scientific as the FBI report, but they appear to document in real stories what the statistics above are saying. It is one thing to read that murder is up 2.1 per cent but it brings the numbers home to read about the shootings that took place in schools during just two months this year [ See Violence Erupts in 2002]. 

The violence is not limited to any region, social or economic status, or even to the United States. "I thought this only happened in America." This was an identical quote from students in Germany [see Germany School Shooting] and Australia after their classmates were shot down. Nor is the violence limited to firearms. In Sweden one student killed another with a rock just to see what it felt like to kill someone.  In Japan students have been killed with swords and scissors but the weapon of choice is usually a baseball bat. 

The violence is not limited to public school. Private schools and universities have increasingly been brought into the circle of violence.

With the previous reports from the FBI and other agencies showing a drop in criminal activity, schools, students and parents began to relax. This latest report and the emails coming in warn that it is time for all to return to vigilance. The War on Terror must include the localized terror caused by frustrated, angry young people who see no other way out. After his arrest, Kip Kinkle the killer at Thurston High kept saying, "I had no choice. I had to do it." From his prison cell, Luke Woodham tearfully says, "I just had no one to talk to. No one to listen." And others reported "turning up the volume" in an attempt to get someone to notice and intervene.

There is an escalating process that all these violent young people have gone through. Its like a road that is dark, shrouded in clouds and ends in destruction. There are warning signs along the road. There are detours along that road. The question is, "Will we notice the signs? Will we offer these kids a detour?" 

Who can and should Help?

Parents are usually in the best position to help. Most do an admirable job. Many fail due to lack of training. Others are not present and some do not care. The courts and other government agencies can help, but they are so swamped that the kids can quickly become a case number rather than a person. Religious groups and social clubs touch only a small per cent of our population. Schools, on the other hand, consume one third of young personís life. This is why so much of todayís violence takes place in schools. But are teachers, counselors and administrators prepared for the challenges of today? Can they spot a student on the road to destruction? Do they see the warning signs? Can they offer that student a detour? The answer is, "Yes, but not without training." While almost everyone believes that they have a natural ability to help a troubled student, the truth is that very few ever possess such an ability without training and practice. The staff at Keys To Safer Schools.com has spent many years learning, researching, trying and refining the skills to identify and intervene with troubled youth. Our mission now is to pass these skills on to others through direct and extended training. There are Potentially Dangerous Students in almost every school. Let us help you help them. [See - What is a Potentially Dangerous Student?

Is your school equipped to identify these students before you have to tell a parent that their child will not be coming home today? Call or email Keys To Safer Schools.com now.

Once again we ask ourselves, "Have we done all that we can to insure the safety of our schools?" Keys To Safer Schools.com is making a special offer to any school to review your crisis planning and provide a written critique of any shortcomings found. To take advantage of this offer, mail your schoolís Crisis Plan and supporting documents to:

Keys To Safer Schools.com
P.O. Box 296
Bryant, AR 72089-0296.

Visit the Keys website for valuable information and resource material on school violence prevention at http://keystosaferschools.com.

Programs to Combat Violence

Reported By:
Frank Green
Director
Keys To Safer Schools.com

If you have any comments or questions please Email us at keys@keystosaferschools.com.

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