In the 2006–07 school year, an estimated 55.5 million
students were enrolled in prekindergarten through
grade 12 (U.S. Department of Education 2008).
Preliminary data show that among youth ages 5–18,
there were 35 school-associated violent deaths2 from
July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007 (27 homicides
and 8 suicides) (Indicator 1). In 2006, among students
ages 12–18, there were about 1.7 million victims
of nonfatal crimes at school,3 including 909,500
thefts4 and 767,000 violent crimes5 (simple assault
and serious violent crime6) (Indicator 2). During the
2005–06 school year, 86 percent of public schools
reported that at least one violent crime, theft, or other
crime occurred at their school (Indicator 6). In 2007,
8 percent of students in grades 9–12 reported being
threatened or injured with a weapon in the previous
12 months, and 22 percent reported that illegal drugs
were made available to them on school property
(Indicators 4 and 9). The following section presents
key findings from each section of the report.
- From July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007, there
were 27 homicides and 8 suicides of school-age
youth (ages 5–18) at school (Indicator 1), or about
1 homicide or suicide of a school-age youth at
school per 1.6 million students enrolled during
the 2006–07 school year.
Nonfatal Student and Teacher Victimization
- In 2006, students ages 12–18 were victims
of about 1.7 million nonfatal crimes at
school, including thefts4 and violent crimes5
- More students ages 12–18 were victims of theft at
school than away from school in 2006 (Indicator
2). In 2006, 34 thefts per 1,000 students occurred
at school compared to 25 thefts per 1,000
students that occurred away from school.4
- In 2007, 4 percent of students ages 12–18
reported being victimized at school during the
previous 6 months: 3 percent reported theft,4
and 2 percent reported violent victimization5
(Indicator 3). Less than half of a percent of
students reported serious violent victimization.6
- In 2007, 10 percent of male students in grades
9–12 reported being threatened or injured
with a weapon on school property in the past
year, compared to 5 percent of female students
- Higher percentages of Black students (10 percent)
and Hispanic students (9 percent) reported
being threatened or injured with a weapon on
school property than White students (7 percent)
and American Indian/Alaska Native students
(6 percent) (Indicator 4).
- In the 2003–04 school year, a greater percentage of
teachers in city schools reported being threatened
with injury or physically attacked than teachers
in suburban, town, or rural schools (Indicator 5).
In city schools, 10 percent of teachers were
threatened with injury by students, compared
to 6 percent of teachers in suburban schools,
5 percent of teachers in town schools, and
5 percent of teachers in rural schools.
- A greater percentage of secondary school teachers
(8 percent) reported being threatened with injury
by a student than elementary school teachers
(6 percent) (Indicator 5). However, a greater
percentage of elementary school teachers (4
percent) reported having been physically attacked
than secondary school teachers (2 percent).
- A greater percentage of public than private school
teachers reported being threatened with injury
(7 vs. 2 percent) or physically attacked (4 vs.
2 percent) by students in school (Indicator 5).
Among teachers in city schools, generally, there
were at least five times as many public school
teachers as private school teachers who reported
being threatened with injury (12 vs. 2 percent),
and at least four times as many public school
teachers as private school teachers who reported
being physically attacked (5 vs. 1 percent).
- In 2005–06, 86 percent of public schools
reported one or more serious violent incidents,7
violent incidents,8 thefts of items valued at $10
or greater, or other crimes had occurred at their
school, amounting to an estimated 2.2 million
crimes (Indicator 6). This figure translates into
a rate of 46 crimes per 1,000 students enrolled
- There was a range in the rate of crimes reported by schools in 2005–06. For example,
46 percent of schools experienced 20 or more
violent incidents per 1,000 students, compared to 1 percent of
schools that experienced 1 or 2 such incidents per 1,000 students
and 22 percent of schools that reported zero
incidents (Indicator 6)9.
- In 2005–06, 24 percent of public schools
reported that student bullying was a daily or
weekly problem (Indicator 7). With regard to
other discipline problems occurring at least once
a week, 18 percent of public school principals
reported student acts of disrespect for teachers,
9 percent reported student verbal abuse of
teachers, 3 percent reported daily or weekly
occurrences of racial/ethnic tensions among
students, and 2 percent reported widespread
disorder in classrooms. With regard to other
discipline problems occurring at least once per
school year, 17 percent of principals reported
undesirable gang activities and 4 percent reported
undesirable cult or extremist activities during
- In 2005–06, a higher percentage of middle
schools than primary schools reported various
types of discipline problems (Indicator 7). Also,
a higher percentage of middle schools than high
schools reported daily or weekly occurrences of
student bullying and student sexual harassment
of other students.
- In 2007, 23 percent of students ages 12–18
reported that there were gangs at their schools
(Indicator 8). Overall, a smaller percentage of
White students (16 percent) and Asian students
(17 percent) reported a gang presence at school
than Black students (38 percent) and Hispanic
students (36 percent).
- In 2007, 22 percent of all students in grades 9–12
reported that someone had offered, sold, or given
them an illegal drug on school property in the
past 12 months (Indicator 9).
- Ten percent of students ages 12–18 reported
that someone at school had used hate-related
words against them, and more than one-third
(35 percent) reported seeing hate-related graffiti
at school in 2007 (Indicator 10).
- In 2007, 32 percent of students ages 12–18
reported having been bullied at school during the
school year (Indicator 11). Twenty-one percent of
students said that they had experienced bullying
that consisted of being made fun of; 18 percent
reported being the subject of rumors; 11 percent
said that they were pushed, shoved, tripped, or
spit on; 6 percent said they were threatened with
harm; 5 percent said they were excluded from
activities on purpose; and 4 percent of students
said they were tried to make do things they
did not want to do or that their property was
destroyed on purpose.
- In 2003–04, 35 percent of teachers agreed
or strongly agreed that student misbehavior
interfered with their teaching, and 31 percent
reported that student tardiness and class cutting
interfered with their teaching (Indicator 12).
Seventy-two percent of teachers agreed or strongly
agreed that other teachers at their school enforced
the school rules, and 88 percent reported that the
principal enforced the school rules.
- A higher percentage of elementary school teachers
than secondary school teachers agreed that school
rules were enforced by teachers in their school,
even for students not in their class (Indicator 12).
In 2003–04, 79 percent of elementary teachers
reported that school rules were enforced by other
teachers, compared to 56 percent of secondary
Fights, Weapons, and Illegal Substances
- In 2007, 36 percent of students in grades 9–12
reported they had been in a fight anywhere,
and 12 percent said they had been in a fight
on school property during the preceding
12 months (Indicator 13). In the same year,
44 percent of males said they had been in a fight
anywhere, compared to 27 percent of females,
and 16 percent of males said they had been in a
fight on school property, compared to 9 percent
- Eighteen percent of students in grades 9–12
in 2007 reported they had carried a weapon10
anywhere, and 6 percent reported they had
carried a weapon on school property during the
previous 30 days (Indicator 14). There were at
least three times as many males as females who
reported carrying a weapon—either anywhere or
on school property—in all survey years. In 2007,
for example, 9 percent of males carried a weapon
on school property, compared to 3 percent of
females, and 29 percent of males carried a weapon
anywhere, compared to 7 percent of females.
- In 2007, 45 percent of students in grades 9–12
reported having consumed at least one drink of
alcohol anywhere, and 4 percent reported having
consumed at least one drink on school property
during the previous 30 days (Indicator 15).
- Twenty percent of students in grades 9–12 in
2007 reported using marijuana anywhere during
the past 30 days, and 4 percent reported using
marijuana on school property during this period
Fear and Avoidance
- In 2007, approximately 5 percent of students
ages 12–18 reported that they were afraid of
attack or harm at school, and 3 percent reported
that they were afraid of attack or harm away
from school (Indicator 17). In 2007, smaller
percentages of White students (4 percent) and
Asian students (2 percent) reported being afraid
of attack or harm at school than their Black
(9 percent) and Hispanic (7 percent) peers.
- In 2007, 7 percent of students ages 12–18
reported that they had avoided a school activity
or one or more places in school in the previous
6 months because of fear of attack or harm:
3 percent of students avoided a school activity,
and 6 percent avoided one or more places in
school (Indicator 18).
Discipline, Safety, and Security Measures
- Forty-eight percent of public schools reported
taking at least one serious disciplinary action
against a student—including suspensions lasting
5 days or more, removals with no services
(i.e., expulsions), and transfers to specialized
schools—for specific offenses during the
2005–06 school year (Indicator 19). Of those
serious disciplinary actions, 74 percent were
suspensions for 5 days or more, 5 percent were
expulsions, and 20 percent were transfers to
- In the 2005–06 school year, 5 percent of public
schools reported performing drug testing on
athletes and 3 percent reported doing so for
students in other extracurricular activities
(Indicator 20). A higher percentage of public high
schools than middle or primary schools reported
performing drug tests on students: 13 percent of
high schools reported performing drug tests on
athletes, compared to 7 percent of middle schools
and 1 percent of primary schools.
- The majority of students ages 12–18 reported
that their school had a student code of conduct
(96 percent) and a requirement that visitors sign
in (94 percent) in 2007 (Indicator 21). Metal
detectors were the least commonly observed
security measure. Ten percent of students
reported the use of metal detectors at their
2 School-associated violent death is defined as "a homicide,
suicide, legal intervention (involving a law enforcement officer),
or unintentional firearm-related death in which the fatal
injury occurred on the campus of a functioning elementary
or secondary school in the United States." Victims of school-associated
violent deaths included students, staff members,
and others who are not students.
3 See appendix B for a detailed definition of "at school."
4 Theft includes purse snatching, pick pocketing, and all attempted
and completed thefts except motor vehicle thefts.
Theft does not include robbery in which threat or use of
force is involved.
5 Violent crimes include serious violent crimes and simple
6 Serious violent crimes include rape, sexual assault, robbery,
and aggravated assault.
7 Serious violent incidents include rape or attempted rape,
sexual battery other than rape, physical attack or fight with
a weapon, threat of physical attack with a weapon, and robbery
with or without a weapon. Serious violent incidents are
a subset of violent incidents.
8 Violent incidents include serious violent incidents plus
physical attacks or fights without a weapon and threats of
physical attacks without a weapon. Serious violent incidents
are a subset of violent incidents.
9 Indicator was revised on November 23, 2009.
10 Such as a gun, knife, or club.