School Crime Reporting Leaves Out Dozens of Violent Crimes (CBS-2)

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Here’s the text of the CBS-2 story that aired at 11pm Monday night. Personally, I’m puzzled…and troubled at some of the stats in the report (click here for companion coverage over on the N&R Chalkboard):

Greensboro, NC — The fire that ravaged Eastern Guilford High School did enough damage that day.

Yet according to school system crime reports, it never happened.

2 Wants to Know compared law enforcement records (Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, Greensboro Police Department and High Point Police Department) with the school system’s reports to the Department of Public Instruction.

And we uncovered 90 violent offenses the district left out.

Police reported 24 sexual assaults, including rapes.

The system only recorded three.

Where law enforcement reported 18 robberies.

The district had four.

And authorities recorded eight cases of school arson.

The school system recorded zero.

The image “https://i1.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/images/S.%20Conway.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Sonya Conway with Guilford County Schools explained the omission of the Eastern Guilford arson.

“The current principal, it’s his understanding that if a student was not attributed to the incident that it wasn’t to be recorded in the report.”

But state law requires principals immediately report any criminal act that occurs on school property.

Failure to do so amounts to a misdemeanor offense.

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:HYxuAQY1xA6wtM:http://www.guilfordcountygop.com/bjbarnes.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Sheriff BJ Barnes said, “I’ve had principals tell me they don’t feel the need to report certain things that are going in there because it reflects poorly on the school and on the system.”

And that makes it impossible to gauge the security in our schools.

When crimes get ignored, Barnes says it can lead to other major crimes such as school shootings.

Part of the problem is the district can’t guarantee the accuracy of its crime reporting.

“Unfortunately I don’t think Guilford County Schools has a mechanism in place to verify that the information reported at the school level is factual,” Conway said.

The system depends on the state to catch inaccuracies.

But the state trusts district’s to tell the truth.

The Department of Public Instruction does not compare school records with those of law enforcement.

When judging the validity Guilford County Schools’ report all the sheriff needs to do is consider a glaring omission.

Barnes said, “It says Eastern Guilford didn’t happen. They need $60 million plus for something. I suspect that’s just plain wrong.”

The following data is based on a comparison of the report Guilford County Schools made to DPI and our local law enforcement.

  • GCS reported 3 incidents of sexual assault, law enforcement reported 7.
  • GCS reported 0 incidents of sexual offense, law enforcement reported 17.
  • GCS reported 1 incident of a bomb threat, law enforcement reported 8.
  • GCS reported 0 incidents of burning of a school building, law enforcement reported 8.
  • GCS reported 0 incidents of assault involving a weapon, law enforcement reported 12.
  • GCS reported 7 incidents of possession of a firearm, law enforcement reported 0.
  • GCS reported 4 incidents of robbery without a dangerous weapon, law enforcement reported 18.
  • GCS reported 243 incidents of possession of a weapon, law enforcement reported 140.
  • GCS reported 116 incidents of possession of a controlled substance, law enforcement reported 145.
  • GCS reported 27 incidents of possession of alcohol, law enforcement reported 11.
  • GCS reported 58 incidents of assault on school personnel, law enforcement reported 11.
  • GCS reported 23 incidents of assault resulting in injury, law enforcement reported 21.

In addition, law enforcment reported more than 1200 incidents at Guilford County Schools. DPI did not require these to be reported to the state including burglaries, various assaults and drug sales.Click here to see state law requiring principals to report campus crime:

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_115C/GS_115C-288.html

Click here to view Guilford County Schools Annual Report on School Crime and Violence from the Department of Public Instruction.

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/research/discipline/reports/

Source: WFMY News2

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E.C. )

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for linking this story, Erik. There’s not been much coverage in the blogs or N&R. Just another “sweep it under the rug” issue as far as the press is concerned, excluding WFMY.

  2. It’s only our kids “Tuna”…no big deal. A few rapes?–no biggie.

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