Trend Does Not Extend to District

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In January, four students from Ballou High School in Southeast Washington were injured in a drive-by shooting shortly after dismissal, in an attack police believe was spurred by neighborhood rivalries. Last month, a 23-year-old man was shot to death on the steps outside Truesdell Elementary School in Northwest while some students were in an after-school program inside.

But compared with Chicago, the District's public schools have had very little gun-related crime this school year. Five incidents classified as "shots fired" were reported this year, but no students were injured, records show.

Teachers, school officials and auditors have complained over the years that the records of such crime are woefully incomplete. Records of past years have been lost, and officials complain that school officials are dissuaded from reporting incidents to make the schools look better.

Four of the shooting incidents this year were near elementary schools.

-- V. Dion Haynes and Dan Keating

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