According to data obtained by the New York Civil Liberties Union, NYC school crime is down. The data shows that, from June 2012 to July 2013, school safety agents made 579 arrests in city schools, which is a hefty 34% drop from the previous year, reports the New York Daily News.
However, just because crime is decreasing in NYC schools doesn't mean students should let their guards down. Here are some common crimes students may want to watch out for at school:
- Fighting. School fights are common, but can quickly turn dangerous or even illegal. When students get a little too rough on the playground, this could easily escalate to criminal assault and battery.
- Smartphone thefts. These days, everyone -- even kids -- have smartphones. But, with their sparkly appeal and modern technology come a hefty price tag. As with all expensive items, this means that they are susceptible to being stolen. This especially applies to theft of Apple products, which, according to the New York Police Department, accounted for one in seven crimes in NYC in 2012.
- Bullying. Bullying, which is prohibited under New York state law, is always a huge concern for parents and schools alike. Bullying refers to any verbal, physical, or even mental acts by students that harass, intimidate, or cause harm to other students. Since many young students may not be aware of the consequences or severity of their actions, they may be even more dangerous. Parents should keep an eye on cyber bullying, which is bullying over the internet or other technology -- especially with school age children increasingly spending their time on Facebook and Twitter.
- Sexual Harassment. Not only is it prevalent in the workplace, but sexual harassment can be committed by and happen to students in school. Sexual harassment, unlike standard playground teasing, crosses the line into being both offensive and continuous, and can lead to dire consequences for a child's emotional well-being -- not to mention physical safety.
With children back in school, now is the time to be extra careful. Being a victim of a crime (or getting arrested for one) should not be any New York student's homework assignment.