Some of the prettiest views of Knoxville are up at Green Magnet Academy.

Off to the west, there's a sweeping panorama of downtown. To the south, you can catch a glimpse of the Smokies. Vistas to the north stretch for miles. The same for the east.

Fenced in on a hill above Summit Hill Drive, the magnet school for elementary school children also has a less appealing mark: It's surrounded by crime. Lots of it, and a lot of it violent, a 10Investigation shows.

Since 2012 there have been eight homicides within a half mile of the elementary school. That's more than one per year.

Among Knox County Schools' 80-some public schools, that's the most, according to a review of reported crimes that cover a little more than five years of data.

MORE: Why and how we're reporting this data

In addition, there have been 300 reported aggravated assaults, 237 reported burglaries, 164 reported robberies and 47 reported forcible rapes, the review shows.

A 10News investigation, Report Card on Crime, shows the school - while the site of little or no crime itself - sits in the middle of one of the most crime-ridden areas of town.

WBIR's series looks at reported crime that has occurred within a half-mile radius of Knox County public schools, including Green Magnet, from 2012 through Feb. 2017.

Green Magnet is perched on a spot that is a prime example of what goes into high crime - and high levels of violent crime: high-density housing nearby; low-income residents; lower-educated residents; and frequent drug activity, according to police and prosecutors.

Law enforcement and education officials acknowledge violent crime goes on around some schools. They're taking steps to fix that, and they say the rate of crime is no comment on the quality of what goes on within a school's doors or the safety itself of the students inside.

"There's crime around schools, more densely populated areas where our schools are located," KCS Superintendent Bob Thomas told 10News. "Unfortunately, there's sometimes more crime around those areas, but I think in terms of our students at school, they're safe."

Where violence occurs most often

Police know better than anyone where most violent crimes occur in Knoxville. After all, they're the first people typically to arrive on the scene after someone reports an incident.

The city, by definition, also has the most urban areas in the region. There are some fairly populated areas in Knox County, such as Farragut and Halls, but they have lower densities and more middle class, affluent residents.

Green Magnet, which in the past has been recognized by the state as an exemplary school, falls within a zone Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch refers to as Project Safe Neighborhoods. With federal funds, the city has focused for years on defined areas, where there is increased gang activity and drug sales.

Browse the searchable database for reported crimes around your kid's school HERE.

The area exists in a 2.5-mile radius of the downtown area, parts east and west of downtown and a small bit to the north. It's the inner city.

"You've got that space there that we're consistently trying to figure out, that we're investing in to figure out what is the right tactic to turn it around," Rausch told 10News.

Green Magnet, located within a mile of police headquarters, is surrounded by several housing developments, some of which are publicly subsidized. They include the Vista at Summit Hill, 1100 Studio Apartments (formerly known as Townview Terrace) and Arbor Place Apartments.

While Green Magnet had the most reported homicides within a half-mile radius of any Knox County school, others also saw high numbers relative to their peers: there were six around Vine Middle School on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and six around Austin-East High School just up Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, figures in the 10Investigates database show.

Further west, there were four homicides reported in the five-year time frame around a half mile of Beaumont Academy on Beaumont Avenue and three around nearby Maynard Elementary. Among those three near Maynard was the killing of Jajuan Latham, a 12-year-old boy who was sitting in his father's vehicle across the street from the school at Danny Mayfield Park in April 2016, when he was killed by suspected gang gunfire.

Vine Middle was the only middle school in the Knox County system near which a homicide occurred, figures show. Eleven elementary schools had killings within a half-mile, and four high schools - Central, West, Austin-East and L&N STEM were relatively near reported homicides.

As criminologists will point out, homicide often gets the most attention in society, but it's also a relatively rare crime.

More frequent are robberies and aggravated assaults.

Interact with a map of the data HERE.

In those categories, a handful of schools stand out because of what's going on around them: Green Magnet (again); L&N Stem Academy on World's Fair Park; Austin-East (again); Vine Middle (again); Fulton High School near Broadway in North Knoxville; Beaumont Academy (again) and Maynard (again).

All of them had at least 90 reported robberies somewhere within a half mile of the school. And all of them - except Fulton - had at least 200 reported aggravated assaults within a half-mile radius. There were 111 reported aggravated assaults within a half mile of Fulton, the 10Investigates database shows.

Reported rapes most frequently occurred within a half mile of a handful Knox County schools, many already familiar on the list.

From 2012 until early 2017, there were 47 - the highest number in the database - within a half mile of Green Magnet; 37 near Vine Middle; 35 near L&N Stem Academy; 33 near Austin-East and 29 near Beaumont Academy, the database shows.

As police noted, the schools themselves are not necessarily threatened by violence while in session, although some occurs. A lot of violent crime takes place long after the children have gone home.

Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen, who has more than 20 years of prosecuting experience in the county, said that along with population density, crime can also break out amid drug sales.

Housing projects in which drugs sales occur can be prime spots for other crime to occur, she said.

"Lots of things can happen in the course of a drug deal gone wrong," Allen said. "Lots and lots of crimes can happen that way."

Patti Bounds, Knox County school board chairwoman, said schools in the system are safe. Educators and administrators have made a point in the past five or so years to to ensure that's true.

While crime does occur, it's often when darkness falls, she said.

"Some of what might be considered the highest crime areas, in the daytime look like a slice out of Americana," she said.

Addressing the problem

Every week, KPD officials evaluate where crime is occurring so they can assess how to respond, according to Rausch.

Security officials within the Knox County Schools system also are aware of what goes on around their schools on a daily basis, according to schools security chief Gus Paidousis, a former administrator with the Knoxville Police Department.

While he mentioned no specific locations, Paidousis said he knows when violent crime occurs overnight near a school.

"If we have any concerns at all about the safety of our children, we do not hesitate to reach out to our law enforcement officers," he said.

Knox County Commissioner Evelyn Gill and Knox County Board of Education member Gloria Deathridge respresent District 1, an area that includes much of the city's urban core. It's also where more of the city's violent crime occurs.

Deathridge said the schools within her district have "outstanding teachers" and "great principals."

She shared her own personal story, when pondering the question of whether crime near a school makes an impact on the school itself.

"I'm from Cleveland, Tennessee, and so I married my husband and I heard all these bad things about Austin-East and Vine, and I said, 'Oh, my children, oh, no. They will never, ever...!'" she recalled. "Well, they did! They went to Vine and they went to Austin-East. They had the best experience."

Rausch agrees. There are "hotspots" around some schools, he said, but that hasn't stopped the schools themselves from excelling, he said. Austin-East, for example, has a top arts program, he said.

"Don't just look at dots on the map, because dots on the map don't tell you the stories," he said. "There's a lot more to it."

Gill, elected last year as the District 1 commissioner, said it's helpful to know where crime occurs so that efforts can be made to stop it. She said she lives in the heart of District 1 and doesn't feel threatened or unsafe.

Mayor Madeline Rogero has long been a champion of neighborhood development and shared her own personal anecdote.

"We ended up in Northwest and then later in North Knoxville, so my kids went to all the schools: Lincoln Park at the time, Belle Morris, Whittle Springs and then Fulton High School," she said. "They got a fabulous education. They both did extremely well in college."

Now in her second term, Rogero has made a point of identifying blighted and ailing neighborhoods prime for rehabilitation.

She ticks off places like Park Ridge, Five Points, Beaumont, and Mechanicsville as areas where the city is investing money to improve neighborhoods and boost the sense of community. Recent budgets have included millions of dollars to rehab parts of Magnolia Avenue, for example, in a multi-phased approach.

By redesigning communities, they can become safer, more attractive.

"It's a different type of environment for the good folks who live there," Rogero said.

Mike Edwards is president and CEO of the Knoxville Chamber and a lifelong Knoxville resident. He also serves on the State Board of Education, a seat to which he was appointed in 2011 by Gov. Bill Haslam, himself a former Knoxville mayor.

Edwards muses about the causes of violent crime - and then addresses what can be done to address it.

"When I look at those crime numbers, I wonder what's happened to people five years ago, 10 year ago, a generation ago that has brought crime into these areas - and how can it ever be stopped?" he wondered.

One answer is to improve public education so that people can improve themselves and the future of their children, he said.

"Those neighborhoods are not going to become vibrant neighborhoods if we continue to pile one generation on top of another who we failed, I believe, in providing them the knowledge and skills they need to succeed," Edwards said.

Browse the searchable database for reported crimes around your kid's school HERE.

Interact with a map of the data HERE.