Rise in juvenile crimes in Tennessee schools, report says

Teachers and administrators do their best to keep schools safe, but this can be a challenge when students act out. According to recent figures, crimes reported in elementary and secondary schools across the state have increased 13.5 percent over the past three years. This concerning increase in juvenile crimes on school premises was shared in a report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released in May 2018.

According to the report, 27,038 total incidents took place between 2015 and 2017. Of these, 37.4 percent of the incidents were characterized as simple assault. The most common demographic group to be accused of juvenile crimes in Tennessee schools were boys between 16 and 17 years of age. This group comprised 28.1 percent of offenders.

Females were more likely to be victims of these crimes than males, with girls accounting for nearly 53 percent of all victims. Drug violations and vandalism were also commonly reported in schools across the state. Reporting rates for these crimes increased by 29.2 percent and 16.8 percent respectively between 2015 and 2017.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation published some additional findings in its report, including data on the frequency of offences involving firearms. According to TBI figures, 351 of the offenses over this three-year period involved firearms. However, it was unclear from the report whether firearm-related offenses saw an increase or decrease between 2015 and 2017. The increase in reported crimes may also mean more young people are being charged with juvenile crimes in Tennessee. It is a good idea for those charged with such crimes to speak with an attorney about their best defense options.

Source: knoxnews.com, "Tennessee schools see increase in crime, TBI report shows", Hayes Hickman, May 15, 2018

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