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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2009
NCES 2010-012
December 2009

Indicator 4: Threats and Injuries With Weapons on School Property

The percentage of students who were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property has fluctuated between 7 and 9 percent in all survey years from 1993 through 2007.

Every year, some students are threatened or injured with a weapon while they are on school property.25 The percentage of students victimized in this way provides an important measure of how safe our schools are, and how school 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 2007, 8 percent of students reported being threatened or injured with a weapon, such as a gun, knife, or club, on school property (table 4.1). From 1993 through 2007, the percentage of students who were threatened or injured with a weapon fluctuated between 7 and 9 percent.

The likelihood of being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property varied by student characteristics, including sex and grade level. In each survey year, a higher percentage of males than females reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property (figure 4.1 and table 4.1). In 2007, the percentage of male students who reported being threatened or injured in the past year was nearly twice as high as the percentage of female students (10 vs. 5 percent). Generally, the percentages of 9th- and 10th-graders who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property were higher than the percentages of 11th- and 12th-graders (figure 4.2 and table 4.1). For example, in 2007, 9 percent of 9th-graders and 8 percent of 10th-graders reported that they were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property, compared with 7 percent of 11th-graders and 6 percent of 12th-graders.

The percentage of students who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property varied by race/ethnicity in 2007. Higher percentages of students of more than one race (13 percent), 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). Higher percentages of all of these groups, except for White students, also reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property than did American Indian/Alaska Native students (6 percent). However, no other measurable differences were found by race/ethnicity in the percentages of students who reported being threatened or injured in this way.

In 2007, student reports of being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property varied among the 39 states and the District of Columbia for which data were available. Among these states and the District of Columbia, the percentage of students who reported being threatened or injured on school property ranged from 5 percent in Massachusettes and North Dakota to 11 percent in Arizona, the District of Columbia, and Utah (table 4.2).

This indicator repeats information from the 2008 Indicators of School Crime and Safety report. For more information: Tables 4.1 and 4.2 and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008b).

25 "On school property" was not defined for survey respondents.

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