STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - November 16, 2006)
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By Mrs. CLINTON:
S. 4065. A bill to direct the Attorney General to conduct a study on the feasibility of collecting crime data relating to the occurrence of school-related crime in elementary schools and secondary schools; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce the Accurate Crime Trends for School Act, a bill that is critical in protecting our children from crimes within their schools.
Each day, parents send their children off to school with a sense of security that they are spending their day in a classroom free from danger. The latest outbreaks of school violence and crimes are a clear reminder that this is not always the case. While the majority of our schools are safe, some parents send their children off to school only to find that their child has become the victim of a crime.
The No Child Left Behind Act requires States and local educational agencies to publicly report criminal activity in our schools, based on their own reports and best-guess surveys. However, there is no Federal crime reporting and tracking system for K-12 schools in the United States.
I strongly believe that accurate data on the crimes occurring in our schools will help us develop preventative measures and effectively address crimes occurring in our nation's classrooms.
My bill, the Accurate Crime Trends (``ACT'') for Schools Act, directs the Attorney General, in consultation with the FBI and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, to determine the feasibility of expanding the National Incidents Based Reporting System (``NIBRS'') to include information on K-12 school-related crime. NIBRS is the FBI's comprehensive, detailed crime reporting system. It provides a greater capability of reporting the details of crimes than self-reporting or surveys do.
I want it to be clear that expanding NIBRS would not create a new level of bureaucracy. This bill would neither bring the FBI into our schools, nor place any new requirements or new burdens upon educators. Expanding NIBRS would use existing crime reporting infrastructures to collect specific K-12 crime data, allowing us to improve the safety of our kids in school.
This year The Office of the New York State Comptroller released a study that underscored the need for such legislation. The report showed that at schools sampled, 80 percent of documented incidents of crimes went unreported to the State, with a number of these instances being serious crimes. This is the type of information that we need that we are not currently getting.
As a parent, I truly believe it is imperative to be made aware of any crime that takes place in our children's schools. Our parents, educators, and children need and deserve a sense of comfort and security from their schools. When we have accurate data on what is occurring in our school, we will be able to develop effective policies to make sure our schools are safe. This bill is a critical first step in achieving this goal.
The infrastructure for collecting this data is already in place. All we have to do is determine the best way to utilize it. The Accurate Crime Trends for Schools Act will accomplish just that.
I hope that my colleagues will join me in support of this legislation.
I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the RECORD.
There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:
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