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Fewer Weapons, Drug Offenses in LBUSD Schools

Schools in the Long Beach Unified School District are safer with fewer weapons and other serious crimes being committed according to the new California Safe Schools Assessment (CSSA) released recently. Fewer crimes occurred in 1999-2000 on local campuses in each of these categories: assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a weapon, robbery and extortion, and drug and alcohol offenses. Local schools also were safer than schools statewide or in Los Angeles County in these same crime categories as well as in property crimes and the average dollar loss per student. California schools averaged a $4.01 property loss per student. In Los Angeles County, a typical school lost $4.77 per student. In the LBUSD, the property loss was $1.48 per student. Crimes against property include arson, burglary, theft, vandalism and graffiti. The number of incidents per 1,000 students here was down 3.5 percent in drug and alcohol offenses, down 37.3 percent in assault with a deadly weapon, down 19.2 percent in robbery and extortion, and down 31.8 percent in possession of a weapon. Incidents involving battery were up 19.7 percent. More students are reporting a battery rather than choosing to participate in a fight. For example, if a student walks away from a fight after being struck, that means fewer fights but more cases of battery. According to the state's reporting guidelines, a fight with mutual combatants is not reported as a crime. Sex offenses were up 35.1 percent to one case per 2,000 students--13 more incidents than the prior year.