By Jonathan Sperling
More than half of the 32,000 reported violent and disruptive incidents at New York state schools occurred within New York City schools, according to a report published by the state comptroller’s office on Tuesday.
A total of 17,991 violent and disruptive incidents recorded in the 2017-2018 school year occurred at NYC schools, making up approximately 56 percent of incidents statewide. There are approximately 1.1 million students enrolled in NYC public schools.
“Violence of any kind has no place in our schools and the public rightly demands that school officials take the necessary steps to protect all students and faculty from threats,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement. “In order to learn effectively, students need to feel safe. Sadly, many students and faculty are confronted with violent and disruptive activity on a regular basis.”
New York City has a particularly high percentage of assaults according to DiNapoli, reporting 8.3 assaults per thousand students, the highest in the entire state and significantly higher than the next highest region, the Capital District. The city’s schools also reported 3.3 sexual offenses per 1,000 students, which was three times higher than the second-highest region, Mohawk Valley.
Notably, the city also had the lowest rates of alcohol and drug-related incidents in the state, while other regions ranged from 2.3 to 4.4 incidents per thousand students, according to DiNapoli’s report.
Data included in the report is gathered as part of The Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act, which was adopted into law in 2000, a year after the infamous Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. The SAVE Act requires all state public schools, including charter schools, to document “violent and disruptive incidents” taking place on school property.