DOJ: Murders of School-Age Children Down 42%; Only 1% Take Place at School

December 17, 2012 - 3:19 PM

Sandy Hook Elementary School

Parents and children leave a staging area near Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

(CNSNews.com) - Murders of school-age children---those between the ages of 5 and 18—declined by 42 percent between the 1992-93 school year and the 2008-2009 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, and only about 1 percent of the school age children murdered during the 2008-2009 school year were murdered at school.

In February 2012, the Bureau of Justice Statistics published a report—“Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2011”—that included statistics on homicides committed at schools for the school years from 1992-93 through 2009-2010. The report also included the total number of all school-age children who were murdered at school or elsewhere from the 1992-93 school year through the 2008-2009 school year.

The report showed a decline over an 18-year period in both the number of school-age children murdered and the number murdered “at school.” The Justice Department defines “at school” to “include the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and going to and from school.”

During the 1992-93 school year, 2,719 school-age children were murdered in the United States. Of these 2,719 murdered children, 34 were murdered at school. That means 1.25 percent of the school-age children murdered during the 1992-1993 school year were murdered at the school building, on school property, on a school bus, or going to or from school.

By the 2008-2009 school year, the number of school-age children murdered in the United States had dropped to 1,579—a decline of 42 percent from the 2,719 school-age children murdered in the 1992-93 school year. Also in the 2008-2009 school year, the number of children murdered at school dropped to 17—a decline of 50 percent from the 34 children murdered at school in the 1992-93 school year.

In the 2008-2009 school year, only 1 percent of the school-age children murdered were murdered at school.

In the 2009-2010 school year, the latest year for which the Justice Department has published data, 17 school-age children were murdered at school. That also was a 50 percent drop from the 34 children murdered at school in the 1992-93 school year.

The 20 young children whom Adam Lanza murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday, exceeds the entire number of school-age children murdered at school (17) in either the 2008-2009 or the 2009-2010 school years. In the 2007-2008 school year, 21 children were murdered at school.

To see the Justice Department’s full data on the murder of school-age children, click here and go to Table 1.1 on page 94 of the report.