Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Study Pinpoints High-Risk Times for School Violence

WebMD Health News

Aug. 10, 2001 -- 'Tis the season to pack the kids off to school for another year of reading, writing, and arithmetic. But in the back of their minds, many parents may be wondering if their kids will learn about something they hadn't anticipated: school violence.

In the wake of several high-profile, horrific events around the country during the last five years (think Columbine, and more recently, Santee, Calif.), this fear may percolate to the surface as school starts up again. As a first step in trying to anticipate and head off school-associated violence, the CDC released a study today analyzing when during the school year student homicides and suicides tend to occur.

"The study looked at school-associated student homicide and suicide events over 7 school years -- from September 1992 to June 1999," study author Mark Anderson, MD, MPH, tells WebMD. Anderson is a medical epidemiologist with the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

The researchers found that homicides peak at the start of each semester then taper off, while suicides follow the pattern of suicides in the general population: they are higher in the spring than in the fall.

According to the researchers, one homicide occurs per seven school days and one suicide occurs every 33 school days. But Anderson stresses that these are very rare events and that schools are still very safe places. "It's an important message for parents to give kids at the start of the semester," he says.

Why do homicides peak at the start of each semester?

"[It] could be due to conflicts that began at the end of the previous semester or during the holiday break and then spilled over into the new semester," says Anderson. Also the change of semester is "a time of increased stress. And that that increased stress could contribute to violent behavior."

Racine, Wisc. high school counselor Mark Kuranz agrees that stress is high at the start of new classes. And, he tells WebMD, a lot of conflict in neighborhoods spills over into the school. Kuranz is the past president of the American School Counselors Association.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration