Although many Virginia schools are safe, some can be just as vulnerable to crime and youth violence as almost any other environment. The Bureau of Justice Statistics has stated over fifteen children and teens were killed at school and five children committed suicide in the year ending June 30, 2002. Furthermore, in a 2001 survey conducted by the National School Safety Center, over 50 percent of high school boys and 15 percent of middle school aged boys said they could get their hands on a gun if they so desired. Simultaneously, almost three quarters of high school and over a quarter of middle school boys said they knew how to obtain illicit drugs. Nearly a third of the children noted being bullied. In what could be an prophetic harbinger to adult behavior, nearly twenty-five percent of the students in another 2001 survey made public by the NSSC recorded that they knew at least one student at their own school who had been a victim of dating violence.
There are no simple solutions to the worrisome questions these statistics bring to light, but it is clear that a partnership between educators, parents, law enforcement, and crime prevention specialists is essential to reducing dangerous activity in schools.