The number of acts of crime in Onslow County Schools decreased during the 2015-2016 academic year, falling in line with the downward trend of overall numbers statewide.

The total number of reported acts of school crime or violence in North Carolina schools decreased 3.2 percent to 10,020 from 10,347 acts in 2014-2015. The rate of acts per 1,000 students decreased by 3.9 percent in 2015-2016 to 6.62 acts per 1,000 students statewide.

Schools are required to report 16 offenses that occur on campus or school property: possession of a weapon, possession of a controlled substance, possession of an alcoholic beverage, assault on school personnel, assault resulting in serious injury, sexual assault, assault involving use of a weapon, sexual offense, possession of firearm, robbery with a dangerous weapon, taking indecent liberties with a minor, rape, death other than by natural causes, kidnapping, bomb threat, burning of a school building.

In Onslow County, the overall number of committed acts of crime districtwide decreased to 104 in 2015-2016, down from 111 the previous year.

Onslow County Schools’ rate of 4.046 acts per 1,000 students remains well below the state rate.

“Creating safe and orderly schools is essential to creating a learning environment where students can be successful,” Onslow County Schools’ Public Information Officer Suzie Ulbrich said.

Of the reportable acts committed in Onslow County, nearly all are for possession of a weapon or controlled substance.

There were 59 reported acts of possession of a controlled substance within Onslow County Schools and 20 instances of possession of a weapon. There were also two cases of assault resulting in serious injury, 12 acts of assault on school personnel, two reported bomb threats, three acts of possession of alcohol, two cases of possession of a firearm and 4 sexual offenses.

The instances of possession of a controlled substance went up slightly in Onslow County Schools, but there were fewer acts of possession of a weapon.

Ulbrich said the system uses a variety of school-based prevention programs and strategies to establish and enforce classroom rules and create an atmosphere of respect.

And prevention efforts begin in the early grades.

“As soon as students begin school, they receive lessons that guide their moral character and shape student behavior,” Ulbrich said. “Part of that prevention also focuses on educating our students about the dangers of drugs/alcohol and firearms. We provide recreational, enrichment and leisure activities to provide constructive, fun alternatives and more inclusiveness.”

Area school officials also credit school leaders and community partnerships for helping to keep crime out of schools.

Jones County Schools reported zero acts during 2015-2016 and was one of four school districts in the state to have no reported acts of crime in the high school grades.

“I commend the schools and community for their conscious efforts in setting a strong culture for safe and orderly schools,” Jones County Schools Superintendent Michael Bracy said. “Ultimately, I am so proud of the students for making learning a priority and staff for supporting their learning.”

Carteret County Public School System reported a total of 56 acts in 2015-2016, up from 39 total acts the previous year, with the majority of acts being assault on school personnel and possession of a controlled substance or weapon.

Duplin County Schools saw a decrease in reported acts to 48 committed acts in 2015-2016, a drop from 60 reported acts the previous year. The majority of acts reported at Duplin schools was possession of a controlled substance.