The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction released data this past week indicating that student crime is on the rise statewide, generally from the use of alcohol and drugs while on a public campus. According to law enforcement officers, students are more likely to bring prescription pills into the classroom, whether stolen from their parents’ medicine cabinet or obtained through other means.
However, violent crime and assault rose as well. Statewide, students committed 11,575 acts of crime and violence, up from 11,608 crimes from 2009 to 2010. North Carolina considers “dangerous and violent” acts to include homicide, assault with a weapon and sexual offenses, among 16 others.
Dealing with the arrest of a student on a public campus is just the start of the process. Law enforcement must also then investigate where the student obtained the weapon and why the student brought the weapon into school in the first place. The student, of course, must then face the consequences of committing the crime. Even alcohol possession can potentially have long-term consequences for a student.
Many schools are instituting programs in an attempt to reduce crime. For example, the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support program attempts to get students to use replacement behaviors instead of repeating negative actions. Gail Neely, assistant director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, told the Shelby Star that violence and crime in schools do not just affect school administrators. Parents should also know what’s going on with their kids, because children can take their problems from home to school.
Source: Shelby Star, “Campus crime on the rise: More drugs, alcohol reported in schools,” Jordan-Ashley Baker, Feb. 17, 2012