The availability of drugs on school property has a disruptive and corrupting influence on the school environment (Nolin et al. 1997). The Youth Risk Behavior Survey asked students in grades 9-12 whether someone had offered, sold, or given them an illegal drug on school property in the 12 months before the survey. In 2003, 29 percent of students in grades 9-12 reported that drugs were made available to them on school property (table 10.1). The percentage of such students increased from 24 percent in 1993 to 32 percent in 1995. In each survey year since 1995, between 29 and 32 percent of students reported drugs were offered, sold, or given to them on school property.
Males were more likely than females to report that drugs were offered, sold, or given to them on school property in each survey year (figure 10.1 and table 10.1). For example, in 2003, 32 percent of males reported the availability of drugs, while 25 percent of females did so. No differences were detected in the percentage of students who reported that drugs were made available to them according to grade level or urbanicity.
Students’ racial/ethnic backgrounds were examined in relation to whether they reported having illegal drugs offered, sold, or given to them on school property (figure 10.2 and table 10.1). In 2003, Hispanic students were more likely than Asian, Black, and White students to report that drugs were made available to them (37 percent vs. 23-28 percent). While it appears that American Indian and Pacific Islander students were also more likely than Asian, Black, and White students to report drug availability at school, the differences were not statistically significant. Student reports of availability of drugs on school property varied among states for which data were available, ranging from 18 to 33 percent (table 10.2).
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