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
10/29/2002 - According to an annual report the
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?"
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
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
Keys To Safer Schools.com
you have any comments or questions please Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.