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

Indicator 9: Students' Reports of Drug Availability on School Property

A smaller percentage of students reported that drugs were offered, sold, or given to them at school in 2007 (22 percent) than in 2005 (25 percent).

The availability of drugs on school property has a disruptive and corrupting influence on the school environment (Nolin et al. 1997). In the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, students in grades 9–12 were asked whether someone had offered, sold, or given them an illegal drug on school property in the 12 months before the survey.32 The percentage of students in grades 9–12 who reported that drugs were made available to them on school property increased from 1993 to 1995 (from 24 to 32 percent), but subsequently decreased (to 25 percent in 2005 and 22 percent in 2007) (table 9.1 and figure 9.1). The percentage of students in grades 9–12 who reported that drugs were made available to them on school property was lower in 2007 than it was in 2005 (22 vs. 25 percent).

Reports of the availability of drugs on school property varied by student characteristics. A higher percentage of males than females reported that drugs were offered, sold, or given to them on school property in each survey year from 1993 to 2007 (figure 9.1 and table 9.1). For example, in 2007, 26 percent of males reported that drugs were available, compared with 19 percent of females. Some differences in the percentages of students reporting that drugs were offered, sold, or given to them on school property also appeared by grade. In 2007, the percentage of 10th-grade students (25 percent) who reported that drugs were made available to them was higher than the percentage for either 9th- or 12th-grade students (21 and 20 percent, respectively), but not measurably different from that of 11th-grade students.

The percentages of students who reported having illegal drugs offered, sold, or given to them on school property differed across racial/ethnic groups (figure 9.2 and table 9.1). Specifically, in 2007, higher percentages of Hispanic and Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian students than Black, White, and Asian students reported that drugs were made available to them (29 and 38 percent vs. 19–21 percent). Although it appears that a higher percentage of Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian students than Hispanic students reported that drugs were made available to them, the difference was not found to be statistically significant.

In 2007, student reports of the availability of drugs 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 reporting that drugs were offered, sold, or given to them on school property ranged from 10 percent in Iowa to 37 percent in Arizona (table 9.2).

This indicator repeats information from the 2008 Indicators of School Crime and Safety report. For more information: Tables 9.1 and 9.2 and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008b)

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

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