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School Killings Highest After Holidays

August 10, 2001|Reuters

ATLANTA — The number of murders committed by students in U.S. schools or at school-sponsored outings rises when students return to the classroom at the end of summer and Christmas holidays, federal health experts said in a study released Thursday.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that school-related homicides typically were highest at the beginning of the academic year in September and at the start of the spring semester in February.

The CDC researchers said that the spike in the murder rate might be linked to the high stress that students were typically under when they returned to classrooms or to unresolved conflicts that festered during breaks.

The study was released as millions of U.S. children were preparing to return to school following the end of summer.

"It takes a while, particularly at the start of the year, for students and teachers to develop a routine and become comfortable with scheduling, class composition and things like that," said Dr. Mark Anderson of the CDC.

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