Our nationís schools should be safe havens for teaching and learning, free of crime and violence. Any instance of crime or violence at school not only affects the individuals involved, but also may disrupt the educational process and affect bystanders, the school itself, and the surrounding community (Henry 2000).
Ensuring safer schools requires establishing good indicators of the current state of school crime and safety across the nation and regularly updating and monitoring these indicators. This is the aim of Indicators of School Crime and Safety.
This report is the twelfth in a series of annual publications produced jointly by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Institute of Education Sciences (IES), in the U.S. Department of Education, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the U.S. Department of Justice. This report presents the most recent data available on school crime and student safety. The indicators in this report are based on information drawn from a variety of data sources, including national surveys of students, teachers, and principals. Sources include results from a study of violent deaths in schools, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the National Crime Victimization Survey and School Crime Supplement to the survey, sponsored by the BJS and NCES, respectively; the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the Schools and Staffing Survey and School Survey on Crime and Safety, both sponsored by NCES. The most recent data collection for each indicator varied by survey, from 2006 to 2007–08. Each data source has an independent sample design, data collection method, and questionnaire design, or is the result of a universe data collection. All comparisons described in this report are statistically significant at the .05 level. Additional information about methodology and the datasets analyzed in this report may be found in appendix A.
This report covers topics such as victimization, teacher injury, bullying, school conditions, fights, weapons, availability and student use of drugs and alcohol, and student perceptions of personal safety at school. Indicators of crime and safety are compared across different population subgroups and over time. Data on crimes that occur away from school are offered as a point of comparison where available.