Gun possession, sexual assaults climbed last year in Wake County schools

This past year, Wake County students stepped off buses and into schools that had more reported crime.
This past year, Wake County students stepped off buses and into schools that had more reported crime. N&O file photo

Reports of gun possession, sexual assault and overall crime in Wake County schools climbed this past year, according to a newly released statewide report.

In 2016-17, Wake schools seized nine guns, up from just one the year before. The schools reported 31 sexual assaults, up from nine the year before.

Overall, Wake schools reported 967 incidents of crime in 2016-17, up from 829 the prior the year, an increase of 16.6 percent. The incident rate per 1,000 students climbed from 5.293 to 6.015.

The numbers rose while Wake’s school enrollment grew modestly, from 156,612 students in 2015-16 to 158,394 this past year, an increase of 1.1 percent.

While reported crimes in Wake schools increased, the statewide number fell, from 10,020 in 2015-16 to 9,834, a drop of 1.8 percent. The incident rate dropped from 6.62 per 1,000 students to 6.48 – still higher than Wake’s incident rate.

Last school year, Wake found guns at these schools:

▪ Green Hope High in Cary, three;

▪ Millbrook High in Raleigh, three;

▪ Wake Forest High two;

▪ Carroll Middle in Raleigh, one.

These schools reported sexual assaults:

▪ Garner High, five;

▪ East Millbrook Middle in Raleigh, two;

▪ Wake Forest High, two;

▪ Fuquay-Varina High, two;

▪ Holly Ridge Middle in Holly Springs, two;

▪ Knightdale High, two;

▪ Lacy Elementary Elementary School in Raleigh, two;

▪ Ballentine Elementary in Fuquay-Varina, one;

▪ Carroll Middle in Raleigh, one;

▪ Durant Road Middle in Raleigh, one;

▪ Heritage Middle in Wake Forest, one;

▪ Lufkin Road Middle in Apex, one;

▪ Millbrook High in Raleigh, one;

▪ Oakview Elementary in Apex, one;

▪ Richland Creek Elementary in Wake Forest, one;

▪ Smith Elementary in Raleigh, one;

▪ Wendell Middle, one.

Among other crimes, Wake schools in 2016-17 reported 499 cases of drug possession, up 25.6 percent from the 397 cases reported the year before.

By far, Garner High School had the most drug cases, 46. The following schools, all high schools, had 15 or more cases: Enloe, 34; Leesville Road, 29; Middle Creek, 23; East Wake, 22; Sanderson, 22; Brought, 21; Holly Springs, 19; Heritage, 18; Wakefield, 18; Knightdale, 17; Athens Drive, 16; Cary, 16; Rolesville, 16; and Wake Forest, 15.

Wake reported 55 assaults on school personnel last year, up from 46 in 2015-16. The most assaults – five – occurred at Longview, an alternative school in Raleigh. Rolesville High School reported four cases. The following schools reported three cases each: Garner High, Heritage High, Holly Ridge Middle, Middle Creek High and Southeast Raleigh High.

Around the Triangle

Elsewhere in the Triangle, Durham County schools reported four gun cases and five sexual assaults in 2016-17, up from two gun cases and one sexual assault the year before. Total crimes in Durham schools jumped to 449 from 383, an increase of 17.2 percent, and the incident rate climbed to 13.645 from 11.556.

While crime in Durham schools rose, enrollment fell, from 33,144 students in 2015-16 to 32,907 last school year.

The Orange County and Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools reported no gun cases and no sexual assaults last year or the year before. The incident rates this past year were 4.856 in Orange and 3.88 in Chapel Hill-Carrboro. The year before, the rates were 3.999 and 7.271, respectively.

Johnston County schools reported 65 crimes last year but no gun cases or sexual assaults. Johnston’s incident rate was 1.859 per 1,000 students. The year before, Johnston reported 160 crimes, two gun cases and an incident rate of 4.064.

Scott Bolejack: 919-829-4629, @ScottBolejack