School safety

The safety of students and teachers is something we always take very seriously. Maintaining school safety is a partnership between schools, law enforcement and prosecutors.

Schools in Hennepin County are safe. See what is being done to keep them that way.

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Prosecuting school crime

Attorneys in the Juvenile Prosecution Division serve as liaisons to all high schools in Hennepin County, and are also available to assist at middle and junior high schools. They partner with school staff and local law enforcement, such as the Minneapolis Police Department’s school resource officers, to respond appropriately.

For many minor behavioral issues, schools are the best place to address the situation. The juvenile justice system does not get involved unless it is necessary.

When more significant incidents occur, school staff and resource officers refer the case to our juvenile division for review and possible charges. Prosecutors typically file charges against a student if an incident is serious or if the school's repeated attempts to resolve the behavior have not been successful.

Attorneys seek resolutions that protect schools, neighborhoods and community.

For less serious first-time offenders, diversion and intervention services will often be offered.

For those with more serious offenses, the prosecutors will work with the juvenile justice system to return the student to law-abiding behavior through a combination of consequences and programming. These may include probation supervision, restitution, community service, counseling, loss of a driver’s license or other options.

Violent juvenile offenders and any threats to school safety are prosecuted aggressively. In those most serious incidents, prosecutors may seek placement at a residential juvenile facility or at the state juvenile correctional facility in Red Wing. Under some circumstances, they may request adult certification to try the juvenile in adult court with the possibility of more significant penalties.

Reporting threats

If you see or hear threats or threatening behavior, whether online or in person, call 911 immediately.

Threats in our community

Occasionally, Hennepin County schools have received credible threats.

When school safety is threatened, the juvenile justice system should, and does, get actively involved. Our office aggressively prosecutes violent juvenile offenders and takes any threats of school violence seriously.

Social media

Increasingly, threats are posted on the Internet and social media sites. Through citizen reports and monitoring of social media, these threats have been identified, leading to arrests and vigorous prosecution.

Intervention

be@school is an early intervention program of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office designed to increase school attendance in Hennepin County.

This is a crime prevention strategy because when young people stay in school and graduate, they are less likely to be involved with the juvenile justice system, either as a crime victim or as a defendant.

School crime statistics

Efforts to reduce school crime seem to be working. During the 2012-2013 school year, school crime was down 1% overall in Hennepin County compared to the previous year. School crime has decreased 57% since a peak in the 2006-2007 school year.

Misdemeanors and petty offenses account for 82% of school crimes. Most of the charges are for disorderly conduct or low-level assault. A small number of felony-level offenses including thefts, drug cases and assaults did occur in schools across Hennepin County.

School crime summary reports for the 2012-2013 school year:

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