Violence at schools
In 1989, eleven percent of violent crime incidents occurred in
on school property. Violent Crime in the United States,
Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of
(March 1991). Fifteen percent of students said their school had
Id. In 1987, an estimated 400,000 students took guns to
Id. A newer study estimates that more than 100,000 children
to school each day, and that another 160,000 children stay home
each day out of
fear of guns and violence. Joseph B. Clough, Solutions Without
National School Safety Center Newsjournal 29 (Fall 1994). In 1990,
for Disease Control sampled high school students concerning their
use of weapons.
H. Snyder and M. Sickmund, Juvenile Offenders and Victims: A
supra. About one in twenty said they carried a firearm,
usually a handgun.
Id. Students who reported carrying weapons four or more
times made up
nine percent of all students and accounted for seventy-one percent
weapon-carrying incidents. Id. A recent survey by USA
twelfth graders found that students were more scared at school than
four years ago, fifty percent know someone who switched schools to
forty-three percent said they avoided the restrooms, and
believed they would learn more if they felt safer. Also, studies
show that the
more seriously involved in drugs a youth is, the more seriously
that juvenile is
involved in delinquent conduct. Stuart Greenbaum, Drugs,
Other Data, Juvenile Justice Journal of the Office of Juvenile
Delinquency Prevention 2 (Spring/Summer 1994).|
Title 21, United States Code, Section 860, provides enhanced
penalties for those who illegally distribute, possess with intent
or manufacture a controlled substance in or on, or within 1,000
feet of, the real
property comprising a public or private elementary, vocational, or
school or a public or private college, junior college, or
university, or a
playground, or housing facility owned by a public housing
authority, or within
100 feet of a public or private youth center, public swimming pool,
arcade facility. The statute also provides a mandatory minimum
of not less than one year for violators. 21 U.S.C.A. § 860(a)
1995). There are additional enhancements for repeat offenders. 21
§ 860(b) (West Supp. 1995).
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,
group of criminals to the enhancement provisions under 21 U.S.C.A.
One who is at least twenty-one years of age, and who knowingly and
influences another under eighteen to violate Section 860, or
under eighteen to assist in avoiding detection or apprehension by
of any crime under Section 860, faces up to triple punishment. 21
860(c) (West Supp. 1995).
It is a federal offense to possess a firearm in a school zone.
§ 922(g) (West Supp. 1995). However, the Supreme Court ruled
School Zone Act was unconstitutional as exceeding Congress'
authority in United States v. Lopez, U.S.
, 115 S.Ct.
1624, ___ L. Ed.2d ___ (1995). Prior to this decision, Congress
922(g) by expressly stating in the statute the national need to
around schools and its nexus to commerce. 18 U.S.C.A. §
Supp. 1995). Whether this change will accommodate the ruling made
the basis for
the Lopez decision is yet to be finally determined.