Children’s Rights Attorney Update – Troubling CDC Statistics

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In recent years, more and more attention has been paid to bullying and other forms of danger that are faced by young people in the United States.  We have advanced culturally to the point where these problems are now taken much more seriously than they were in the past, and that’s providing help to many people who need it.  Despite these advances, any children’s rights attorney will likely agree with the idea that more awareness is going to lead to more action.  That’s why, during National Safety Month, we want to provide the public with some data that are provided by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, relating to violence that occurs on school property across the country.  Hopefully this type of knowledge will lead more people to take action when they suspect there is a problem.

The YRBSS Survey

Recently, the CDC published what is known as the YRBSS Survey.  YRBSS stands for Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.  The survey is published every two years, and the most recent data tracks events through 2015.  The survey focuses on young people who were between 9th and 12th grades, or high school in most jurisdictions.  What the survey found was troubling for anyone who wants to keep schools as safe as possible.  In 2015, the following percentage of people of high school age experienced the following types of actions:

  1. Carried a weapon on school property during the previous 30 days – 4.1 percent
  2. Were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property during the previous 12 months – 6.0 percent
  3. Were in a physical fight on school property during the previous 12 months – 7.8 percent
  4. Did not go to school at least once during the previous 30 days because they felt unsafe either at school or while going to or coming home from school – 5.6 percent
  5. Were bullied on school property during the previous 12 months – 20.2 percent

The full fact sheet can be found here.  While these may seem like relatively small numbers and trends appear to be going in the right direction, presenting them as actual estimates may change some perspectives.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 15 million people who attended public schools in the United States in the fall of 2015 were between 9th and 12th grades.  As such, that means the following:

  1. 615,000 students brought a weapon to school during the previous 30 days.
  2. 900,000 students were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property during the previous 12 months.
  3. 1,170,000 students were involved in a physical fight at school during the previous 12 months.
  4. 840,000 students did not go to school because they felt unsafe during the previous 30 days.
  5. Over 3 million students had been bullied at school during the previous 12 months.

It should be noted that these are only public school students and these incidents only involve occurrences on school property or occurrences on the way to or from school.  As such, it’s safe to say that millions of young people face real dangers on a regular basis despite all of our recent awareness to these issues.

Why Help from a Children’s Rights Attorney is Critically Important

Sadly, these statistics do not deal with all of the students of this age in the United States.  The data also do not cover people who did not report these problems after they arose.  It’s also an unfortunate reality that action is not always taken when these incidents are reported.  That’s when families of young people who are harmed or mistreated should do what’s necessary to stand up for their legal rights and the safety of those who are being harmed and mistreated.  If this includes you or someone you love, contact a children’s rights attorney at Gomez Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Posted in: Children's Rights
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