The Numbers Are In: School Safety in 2018

News of school shootings and related violence has ravaged the media cycle in recent years, especially on the heels of heightened death tolls and more dangerous weapons being discovered as being used. However, over the past 20 years less than 3 percent of youth-related homicides occurred on school grounds. An active shooter on a school campus is the worst nightmare for students and parents alike, but they are not the only cause of concern (and liability) on school campuses.

Having an Effect

The National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics both released findings that point to poignant and revealing school violence numbers. The findings, while just released, report data from 2015. Since then there have been more violent incidents at schools that were not included. One thing that has been pointed out is the spike in truancy and degraded school performances from those who are victimized in a school-related violent act.

By the Numbers

Between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, a total of 47 student, staff and non-student school-associated violent deaths happened. There were 28 homicides, 17 suicides, and two legal intervention deaths, such as a fatality at the hands of law enforcement on the scene. While this information is telling, it does not account for recent school tragedies such as one in Southeastern Texas that claimed 10 lives in May 2018.

2018 has seen 22 school shootings as of June 26, barely halfway through the year. There will likely be a sharp increase of scrutiny in these reports when the data from 2016-present is released.

What Can Be Done

There has yet to be a solid legislative plan enforced when it comes to school shootings and violence. However, in a related finding, 92 percent of public schools have a school shooting plan in place, a 13 percent increase from stats reported during 2003 and 2004.

Additionally, efforts to curb school bullying have shown progress. The percentage of reported bullying had decreased from 29 percent in 2000 to 12 percent in 2016, and that number is expected to continue to drop. Even verbal abuse from students aimed at teachers has been trending down, going from 13 percent to five percent from 2000-2016.

There are options for schools to invest in risk management such as liability coverage when it comes to school place violence. Active shooter liability insurance provides third-party coverage for crisis management services, which can help cover costs following a violent event. In addition, an Educators Liability policy will cover other potential sources of risk for educational institutions including employment practices, wrongful student suspension or expulsion, discrimination, integration, and cases relating to special education.

About PGUI

Professional Governmental Underwriters, Inc. is a full-service risk management company dedicated to assisting public, educational and non-profit entities in the management of their professional liability exposures. We are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art professional underwriting management and loss control advisory services on behalf of our designated carriers. For more information, call us toll-free at (800) 586-6502, or call one of our professionals directly:

Ned Daly                     804.272.8060

Grey Lester                804-272-5964

Dana Fawver             804.272.7405

Will Shumadine        804.272.9210

Peyton Judy              804.272.4317