Magazine article The Nation's Health

Schools Are among Safest Places for Kids

Magazine article The Nation's Health

Schools Are among Safest Places for Kids

Article excerpt

I was frankly amazed at the conclusions drawn from the data in your recent article on school-based homicides (The Nation's Health, March 2008).

The article points out that less than 1 percent of the homicides afflicting students between ages 5 to 18 occur in schools, but then goes on to argue that public health professionals need to redouble their efforts to reduce this number. This conclusion is wildly at odds with the data.

Children 5 to 18 spend on average about one-third of their waking time in school. One percent of homicide deaths in these ages occur during this time. That means that 99 percent of the homicides occur in the other two-thirds of their waking life. Assume for purposes of argument that half of that remaining time is spent with peers and half with family. Then 49.5 percent of homicides occur in the context of the family and 49.5 percent with peers outside of school.

There are a number of conclusions one might draw from this data. …

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