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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2008
NCES 2009-022
April 2009

Indicator 21: Students' Reports of Safety and Security Measures Observed at School

Sixty-six percent of students reported observing the use of one or more security cameras at their school in 2007 compared to 58 percent of students in 2005.

Schools use a variety of measures to promote the safety of students, ranging from codes of student conduct to metal detectors. In the School Crime Supplement44 to the National Crime Victimization Survey, students ages 12–18 were asked whether their school used certain security measures.45 Security measures include metal detectors, locker checks, security cameras, security guards or police officers, adult supervision in hallways, badges or picture identification for students, a code of student conduct, locked entrance or exit doors during the day, and a requirement that visitors sign in. In 2007, nearly all students ages 12–18 observed the use of at least one of the selected security measures at their school (figure 21.1 and table 21.1).

In 2007, the majority of students ages 12–18 reported that their school had a code of student conduct (96 percent) and a requirement that visitors sign in (94 percent). Ninety percent of students reported the presence of school staff or other adult supervision in the hallway, and 69 percent reported the presence of security guards and/or assigned police officers. Fifty-four percent of students reported locker checks, 61 percent reported locked entrance or exit doors during the day, and 66 percent reported the use of security cameras at their schools. Twenty-four percent of students reported that badges or picture identification were required. Metal detectors were the least observed of the selected safety and security measures: 10 percent of students reported the use of metal detectors at their school.

The percentage of students reporting the presence of some of the selected security measures increased between the 2 most recent survey years as well as over longer time periods. For example, a greater percentage of students reported observing the use of one or more security cameras at their school in 2007 (66 percent) than in 2005 (58 percent). Over the longer time period of 2001 through 2007, the percentage of students who reported observing the use of one or more security cameras at their school increased from 39 to 66 percent. Similarly, a greater percentage of students reported locked entrance or exit doors during the day in 2007 (61 percent) than in 2005 (54 percent). Over the longer time period of 1999 through 2007, the percentage of students who reported locked entrance or exit doors during the day increased from 38 to 61 percent.

In 2007, about 94 percent of students reported that their school had a requirement that visitors sign in compared to 93 percent of students in 2005. Between 1999 and 2007, the percentage of students who reported a visitor sign-in requirement increased from 87 to 94 percent. No significant differences were detected in the percentage of students who reported metal detectors, locker checks, the presence of security guards and/or assigned police officers, requirements that students wear badges or picture identification, or a code of student conduct in their schools across all survey years.

This indicator has been updated to include 2007 data. For more information: Table 21.1 and Bauer et al. (2008).

44 In 2005 and 2007, the unit response rate for this survey did not meet NCES statistical standards; therefore, interpret the data with caution. For more information, please see appendix A PDF File (301 KB).
45 Readers should note that this indicator relies on student reports of security measures and provides estimates based on students' awareness of the measure rather than on documented practice. See Indicator 20 for a summary of the use of various security measures as reported by schools.

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