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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2005

Indicator 4:
Threats and Injuries With Weapons on School Property

In 2003, male students in grades 9-12 were more likely than female students to report being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property in the past year (12 vs. 6 percent).

Every year, some students are threatened or injured with a weapon while they are on school property. The percentage of students victimized in this way provides an important measure of how safe our schools are and how their safety has changed over time. In the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, students in grades 9-12 were asked whether they had been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property during the 12 months preceding the survey. In 2003, 9 percent of students reported being threatened or injured with a weapon, such as a gun, knife, or club, on school property (table 4.1). The percentage of students who were threatened or injured with a weapon has fluctuated between 1993 and 2003, but without a clear trend. In all survey years from 1993 through 2003, 7-9 percent of students reported being threatened or injured in this way.

The likelihood of being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property varied by student characteristics. In each survey year, males were more likely than females to report being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property (figure 4.1 and table 4.1). In 2003, 12 percent of male students reported being threatened or injured in the past year, compared with 6 percent of female students. Among students in grades 9-12, those in lower grades were more likely to report being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property than those in higher grades in each survey year (figure 4.2 and table 4.1). In 2003, 12 percent of 9th-graders reported that they were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property, compared with 9 percent of 10th-graders, 7 percent of 11th-graders, and 6 percent of 12th-graders.

Students' likelihood of being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property was examined by race/ethnicity. In 2003, American Indian students were more likely than Black, Hispanic, and White students to report being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property (22 percent vs. 11, 9, and 8 percent, respectively). In addition, Black students were more likely than White students to report being threatened or injured in this way. Although it appears that urban students were more likely than suburban and rural students to report being threatened or injured on school property (11 percent vs. 9 and 8 percent, respectively), the difference was not statistically significant. Student reports of being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property varied among states for which data were available, ranging from 5 to 13 percent (table 4.2).

Figure 4.1. Percentage of students in grades 9-12 who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property during the previous 12 months, by sex: Selected years, 1993-2003

Percentage of students in grades 9-12 who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property during the previous 12 months, by sex: 
Selected years, 1993-2003

NOTE: “On school property” was not defined for survey respondents.
SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), “Youth Risk Behavior Survey” (YRBS), selected years, 1993-2003.
Figure 4.2. Percentage of students in grades 9-12 who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property during the previous 12 months, by grade: 2003

Percentage of students in grades 9-12 who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property during the previous 12 months, by grade: 2003

NOTE: “On school property” was not defined for survey respondents.
SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), “Youth Risk Behavior Survey” (YRBS), 2003.
View Table 4.1 View Table 4.1View Table 4.2 View Table 4.2


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