Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "school safety" ...

  • Alternative schools bear the brunt of student deaths in Chicago

    This investigative story shines a light on why Chicago students who’ve died are most likely to attend an alternative school and the lack of resources these schools have historically been provided by Chicago Public Schools to help students cope with the deaths of their classmates and other traumas. While many stories have focused on how Chicago’s gun violence hurts children and teens, this story used never-before-published data and more than 50 interviews to examine how gun violence is impacting the education of some of the city’s most vulnerable students. Public alternative high schools are often considered schools of “last resort” that take in children who’ve had discipline, attendance and academic issues in their prior schools. It’s often where students with gang affiliations and safety concerns are sent. And it’s where students are most likely to die.
  • Out of Control: Inmate violence at state-run Martin Girls Academy has local staff, taxpayers paying

    Treasure Coast Newspapers’ reporter Melissa E. Holsman began investigating Martin Girls Academy after hearing from prosecutors, defense attorneys and others concerned with the sometimes brutal violence being reported at the facility since it opened in 2008. Records detail multiple assaults victimizing youth and, more often, employees. The monthslong research included reviewing hundreds of arrest and assault documents, juvenile justice reports, Department of Children and Families abuse records, videos capturing assaults at the complex and personal interviews with current and former staff, attorneys and state officials. Melissa found such a high level of violence within the facility that it is a safety hazard to employees and to the girls themselves. The violence also is costing Martin County taxpayers thousands of dollars annually.
  • On Shaky Ground

    "A 19-month investigation uncovers systemic breakdowns in the way the state enforces seismic safety standards during public school construction."
  • School Safety Checks Spotty

    This investigation, sparked by a fire at Wasatch Junior High School in Salt Lake City, found that many schools in Utah lack modern fire safety features. The authors found that the fault lies mostly with fire inspectors, who are often ill-trained or inexperienced. The inspections are inconsistent and do not occur regularly, which is why there are no recorded inspections for Wasatch Junior High School for years prior to the disaster.
  • Radon in Schools: A Lesson to Learn

    The radon levels in Ohio schools are almost three times the national average; this means that a lot of school children are put at greater risk for lung cancer through daily exposure to the radioactive gas. Reporters found that, of all of Ohio's public schools, only eleven percent even tested for radon. Of those that did tests, many did not fix the problems. The investigation found that this was particularly true for Columbus, where 78 public school buildings had excessive radon levels, but only one took the recommended corrective action.
  • Ohio School Fire Drills: Safety Under Fire

    In order to create a safe environment for K-12 students, Ohio enacted a strict state law, which required "all schools with an average daily attendance of 50 or more, public or private, to conduct at least 10 fire drills each school year." The law also required that the first two drills be scheduled within the first weeks of school, when students would be less likely to be familar with the building. According to WBNS-TV's 10 Investigates, more than 45 percent of 401 schools were not performing the drills in accordance with the law, nor were they fined. In some cases, administrators did not keep records of when drills were performed, and therefore had to estimate when the drills did occur.
  • Rude Boy

    Village Voice tells the story of a little boy, J.J., who terrorized his classmates and his teachers at P.S. 207 in Harlem. At the age of 8 J.J. forced two six-year girls to perform oral sex, and was charged with first-degree sodomy and first degree sexual assault. The boy liked to hit other children, as well as his teachers, the investigation reveals. Even though the boy was diagnosed with conduct disorder, supposedly related to his father's absence, the mother refused to acknowledge the problem and give him the prescribed medication. At last J.J. ended up in a group home in upstate New York, Village Voice report.
  • Whose Choice?

    The Beacon Journal examines the issue of school choice by investigating the problems in Ohio's public and private academies. "Ohio, already No. 1 in the '90s for putting public dollars into private schools and last in the nation for placing children in safe and sanitary buildings, is on course to earn a new distinction in the next decade. The state is ready to rival Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan for funneling tax dollars to a new class of schools -- charter schools -- that are public in some ways and private in others." Among the topics the four-part series covers is school safety, the role of money and politics in schools and the problems with Ohio's school voucher system experiment.
  • Who Poisoned the Well?: Toxic truth haunts LAUSD at Belmont

    LA Weekly reports that "In the end...it wasn't the site itself that provoked the controversy, but how (retired district administrator Dom) Shambra and (top legal counsel David) Cartwright dealt with it -- and how a regiment of staffers and officials stood idly by...Cartwright and Shambra never intended to put children at risk, but they were determined to keep environmental costs from sinking their grand designs, and in hiding these potential expenses, they shielded the issue itself from full scrutiny...They particularly didn't want interference from district staff, and they didn't get much either, even from officials and departments directly responsible for school safety."
  • Fire power

    When two students burned the high school on Cross Plains, Texas, they left a devastated community asking why. During the months that Americans were transfixed by tales of students killing students, there were nearly as many stories of children setting fire to their schools.