How Dangerous Is Public School for Your Kids?

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on August 21, 2015 11:59 AM

All parents want to protect their children and keep them safe. And with the first day of school fast approaching, many parents are wondering how safe their children's schools are.

While the vast majority of kids will attend public school injury-free, the school environment carries some risk of injury. Here are the biggest concerns:

School Violence

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Justice have been gathering school violence data from a variety of sources. According the CDC's most recent report, there were about 749,200 nonfatal violent incidents at school involving students 12 to 18 years old in 2012. (This is out of an approximate population of 42 million 10- to 19-year-olds.)

While the risk of school violence does exist, incidents of violence remain rare. Of students surveyed from grades 9 through 12:

  • 7 percent reported being threatened or injured with a weapon
  • 8 percent reported being in a physical fight
  • 19.6 percent reported being bullied on school property in the previous year

Other School Injury Risks

Not all school injuries occur due to bad behavior. Sometimes a student can be injured doing a positive thing, like participating in a school sport. While a recent study from the University of Denver estimated that there were around 1.3 million high school sports-related injuries in the 2012 - 2013 school year, that broke down to just 2 injuries per 1,000 athletes. Many parents are asked to sign a school sports waiver, and school sports injury lawsuits can be difficult to win.

For younger children, around 200,000 playground injuries occur every year, with about half of those happening on public playground equipment. Parents may also be concerned about the safety of the school buildings and grounds themselves and about bus safety on the way to and from school.

If your child has been injured at school, you may want to consult with an experienced injury attorney regarding your case.

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