By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The rate of violent incidents in Philadelphia schools stayed about the same last year, compared to the year before, but there were some significant fluctuations.
Breaking down the numbers from this week’s “persistently dangerous” schools report shows the overall rate of violent incidents was down slightly last year over the year before. But morals offenses were up 38 percent.
School district chief inspector Myron Patterson attributed the rise to more thorough reporting of offenses even in the lower grades.
“A lot of these kids, even with the elementary ones under the age of ten, they’re not arrest-able, number one, but you still have to document. So there’s a big push, specifically from my office, to push them to report these things so corrective actions can be taken,” says Patterson.
Arsons were down 35 percent, and Patterson credited programs alerting kids to the dangers of setting fires.
He says the figures should present a truer picture of violence because in many cases school police and not administrators are reporting incidents now.