The 5 Most Dangerous High Schools in America

No one wants to discuss such a dark topic as the five most dangerous high schools in the United States, but the research can be helpful for parents who want to avoid putting their child in harm’s way. Below, readers will find a concise list of the top five most dangerous high schools in America. The list was compiled based on reports of violent crimes, high-density crime locations, and teacher/student surveys collected over the past six years.

Persistent Violence Defined:

In 2006, federal law mandated states to identify schools in which the crime per student ratio elevates beyond two successive years of serious violence. A serious incident: forcible and other sexual offenses, homicide, assault resulting in serious physical injury or in physical injury, robbery, arson, kidnapping, possession, use or threatened use of a weapon, and reckless endangerment.

If the number of incidents rises above five crimes per one hundred students in a single year, and this activity continues for two years, the school is ranked as seriously violent.

Philadelphia: Abraham Lincoln High School

This school has placed on the persistent violence list since the list’s inception in 2006. Sadly, in 2011, a teacher at the school reported that the situation was getting more violent and more frightening. Students are daily roaming the halls, refusing to comply with teacher’s directions, erupting in violent threats and actions when redirected and successfully smuggling dangerous objects such as knives and ropes into the classroom. Many teachers suggest that the entire student body suffers because of these disruptions, saying that no real learning can take place when everyone is concerned for their safety.

South Philadelphia High School

This school is the hub of racial violence and bullying. During the 2009-10 school year, the school reported more than seventy cases of racial violence. One incident accounted for almost half of the racial violence when gangs took to the halls targeting Asian American students and beating them. Averaging one hundred violent crimes a year, South Philadelphia High School has been tagged as the hub of racial diversity and discord. The student population consists of people from nineteen different, native tongues.

New York: DeWitt Clinton High School

It is more common for schools to have metal detectors since the violence at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. However, DeWitt Clinton High School defines why many schools continue to need these safety precautions. In 2010 more than two hundred fifty cases of violent crime were reported at the school. Thirty-three seizures of weaponry occurred at the school during the same point. Many teachers believe the school will be closed down for its failing ranks on state tests, but today, it is still open and full of students.

Chicago: Harper High School

Between 2011-12, twenty-seven students at this school were shot. Nine shooters claimed fatal results. More than fifty percent of the students at Harper fail each year, and even though police patrol the interior and exterior of the school, reports of students assaulting teachers have not declined. Commonly believed to be the most dangerous neighborhood in Chicago, Englewood, where Harper is located, is said to be irreversibly risky for all in attendance.

New Jersey: East Orange Campus High School

Parent reviews illuminate how dangerous the school is. One parent was quoted as saying, “don’t send your child here if you want them to have an education. The campus is out of control in every way.” The city of East Orange is ranked as the most violent city in the United States, and this high school is no exception. Even though the new chief of police, elected in 2004, brought cutting edge technology to the city’s law-enforcement, youth provoked crimes have not dipped in eight years. The city, many believe, needs even more radical reimagining in order to overcome the deep rooted gang culture and crime driven community.

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This post was written by a guest contributor. About the Author:

Russ Coulter is a high school administrator and guest author at, a site with information and reviews of top-rated online masters in education degree programs.