Wednesday, December 5

Fighting down in schools, but dating-related violence up for NYC teens

The Times reported this week that fighting in city schools dropped by 20 percent between 2003 and 2005. But dating-related violence is on the rise among NYC teens, with 10 percent of girls and 5 percent of boys reporting being raped or forced into sex by a partner.

The report underscores the reality that while the school system may make kids feel like criminals, New York City teens face real dangers. Last week, a teenager was stabbed to death in a botched robbery across the street from Murrow High School in Brooklyn, although it's still not clear whether the teenagers involved had an affiliation with the school. And as part of the Post's article on dating violence, one Washington Irving High School 9th grader reported that she carries a box cutter to school to avoid problems.

I wonder whether schools' focus on policing prevents them from teaching students how to make healthy choices for themselves and their partners. If so, a short term drop in fighting might belie longer-term dangers for the city's young women and men.

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