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New Civil Rights Data Shows Increase in Reports of Sexual Violence at School

The 74 Million |

Incidents of sexual violence in public schools increased by more than half between the 2015-16 and 2017-18 school years — from 9,649 to 14,938, according to civil rights data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Education. And cases of rape or attempted rape doubled, the data shows, from 394 to 786.

The increases were included in a brief the department released along with other civil rights data from more than 97,000 schools, representing almost 51 million students — a massive report, conducted every two years, that includes information on student enrollment and educational programs, separated by race and sex, and including English learners and students with disabilities.

The release of the Civil Rights Data Collection— used to monitor disparities and access to courses and other services — was held up by the coronavirus. In addition, the delayed 2019-20 collection will be released during the current school year. The department also announced last year that it was working to improve the quality of the 2017-18 data.

Read the Department of Ed brief on 2017-2018 sexual violence data.