7 million violent crimes occur annually at school or near school (Hill and Drolet, 264). Youth anger, lack of anger management coping mechanisms, lack of trust in adults, and the growing accessibility of firearms are resulted in thousands of injured students and adults annually in U.S. schools. For an estimated 37% of youth ages 12-15, violent crime victimizations occur on school property according to the Bureau of Justice (Hill, et al., 1999, 264). In a survey conducted by the National School Boards Association in 1994, researchers found that 80% of surveyed school officials perceived violence in schools had increased over the past five years (Hill, et al., 1999, 264). Perhaps more alarming than any of these studies or statistics is the fact that youth violence in schools is becoming increasingly lethal. According to the CSPV, between 1980 and 1995, handgun homicides perpetrated by young males (15-18) increased by more than 150% (Youth, 2002, 1) in the U.S.
An increasing number of students are carrying a weapon to school. The National Youth Risk Behavior Survey reports that 20% of high school students nationwide reported carrying a weapon in school (Youth, 2002, 1). Yet, while many continue to argue that ethnicity or race plays a significant role in the increase of violence among youth in schools, the CSPV argues that “the strongest predictors for school violence rates are local neighborhood crime rates” (School, 2002, 1). Such a predictor demonstrates tha