Michigan Teachers Face Higher-Than-Average Violence, Threats
Michigan students attacked 9% of their teachers and threatened nearly 12% of their teachers in recent years, according to newly released data.
"LANSING -- Schools are safer than they were 20 years ago, but school crime has increased since 2010, the U.S. Department of Education announced.
The department's National Center for Education Statistics released its 16th-annual [']Indicators of School Crime and Safety['] report in June, examining school safety data from the FBI, Justice Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources for the 2011-2012 school year.
Statistics for 2012 show that students between the ages of 12 and 18 were the victims of crimes like theft, assault and violent crimes like rape and robbery at a rate of 52 victims per 1,000 students, an increase from a rate of 38 victims per 1,000 students in 2010.
The 2012 rate, while up slightly over the last two years, is still down significantly from the 1992 rate of 181 victims per 1,000 students.
Students weren't the only ones on school property facing an increased threat of crime. About 9 percent of teachers nationally reported being threatened with physical injury in 2012, up from 7 percent in 2008, and 5 percent of teachers reported being physically attacked by a student, the highest rate researchers have seen.
Michigan had significantly higher rates of threats and violence against teachers, with 11.8 percent of teachers reporting they were threatened and 9 percent saying they were attacked.
Those statistics put the state ninth in the country for the percentage of teachers threatened, and fourth in the nation for violence against teachers. Both rates represent a significant increase from 2007-2008.
Classroom violence in Michigan got national attention in May when video of an Education Achievement Authority teacher using a broom to break up a fight began circulating. The teacher, Tiffani Eaton, was trying to stop a fight in her Pershing High School classroom, and the EAA fired her temporarily before reinstating her after public outrage.
The number of homicides and suicides at school declined to a 20-year low nationally, with only 11 student homicides and 3 suicides reported on school property for 2011, the report states.
Michigan has worked to address school safety following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut by establishing the [']OK-2-SAY['] hotline, which allows students to confidentially report threats to school safety by phone, email or text message.
That hotline is expected to be operational by this fall, in time for the new school year."