Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Danger! Danger! Don't go to school!

I saw a poll on today asking the question “Are schools becoming more dangerous?” 78% of respondants said “Yes!”

This poll is obviously coming off the back of the news of the stabbing at Avondale College and the news the day before that more than 1600 students in 2008 were apprehended by police in NZ schools. I don’t know what the definition of ‘apprehended’ is, it’s obviously not ‘arrested’ or the story would have said arrested.

Are NZ schools becoming more dangerous, I think the answer to that is pretty obviously “Yes!”, why…well who know, many reasons, but the most likely is probably because society is becoming more dangerous.

The next question to ask is “Are NZ schools dangerous!” because it feels like this is actually the question the media is asking. The resounding answer to this question is “No!”

Let’s look at the numbers, 1600 students ‘apprehended’ in 2008, sounds like a lot.

There are 3942 schools in NZ. That’s two ‘apprehensions’ for every five schools.

There are 752,730 school students in NZ. That’s one ‘apprehension’ for every 470 students.

But I think most accurately is how many school days there are in NZ, each of these ‘apprehensions’ happened at one school, on one day, so if you realise that amongst all the students across all the school days there are about 150 million school days in NZ each year, that’s one ‘apprehension’ every 93,000 school days.

I hope New Zealanders and the media now don’t beat this up to being more than it is.

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