Skip Navigation
small NCES header image
Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2009
NCES 2010-012
December 2009

Indicator 18: Students' Reports of Avoiding School Activities or Specific Places in School

In 2007, 7 percent of students ages 12–18 reported that they avoided school activities or one or more places in school because they thought someone might attack or harm them.

School crime may lead students to perceive school as unsafe, and in trying to ensure their own safety, students may begin to skip school activities or avoid certain places in school (Schreck and Miller 2003). The percentage of students who avoid school activities and certain areas in school is a measure of their perception of school safety. In the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, students ages 12–18 were asked whether they had avoided school activities or one or more places in school because they were fearful that someone might attack or harm them.44 In 2007, 7 percent of students reported that they had avoided a school activity or one or more places in school during the previous school year because of fear of attack or harm. About 3 percent of students avoided a school activity, and 6 percent avoided one or more places in school45 (figure 18.1 and table 18.1).

While there was no overall pattern of increase or decrease between 1999 and 2007 in the percentage of students who reported that they had avoided a school activity or one or more places in school because they were fearful that someone might attack or harm them, the percentage of students who reported avoiding an activity or place because of fear of attack or harm was higher in 2007 (7 percent) than in 2005 (6 percent).

In 2007, 2 percent of students reported that they had avoided any activity, 1 percent of students reported that they had avoided a class, and 1 percent of students reported that they had stayed home from school because they were fearful someone might attack or harm them. One percent of students reported that they had avoided the entrance to the school, 3 percent that they had avoided the stairs or hallways, 2 percent that they had avoided parts of the school cafeteria, 3 percent that they had avoided any school restrooms, and 1 percent that they had avoided other places inside the school building because of fear of attack or harm in 2007.

Students’ reports of avoiding one or more places in school because of fear of attack or harm varied by student and school characteristics. A higher percentage of 7th-graders (7 percent), 8th-graders (6 percent), 9th-graders (7 percent), and 10th-graders (5 percent) reported avoiding one or more places inside school than 12th-graders (3 percent) (figure 18.2). Additionally, a higher percentage of 6th-graders (8 percent), 7th-graders (7 percent), and 9th-graders (7 percent) than 11th-graders (4 percent) reported avoiding one or more places in school because of fear of attack or harm. No measurable difference was detected in the extent to which females and males avoided one or more places in school in 2007 (5 and 6 percent, respectively).

A larger percentage of public school students (6 percent) than private school students (1 percent) reported avoiding one or more places inside school because of fear of attack or harm.

This indicator repeats information from the 2008 Indicators of School Crime and Safety report. For more information: Tables 18.1 and 18.2 and Bauer et al. (2008).

44 For the 2001 survey, the wording was changed from "attack or harm" to "attack or threat of attack." See appendix A for more information.
45 "Avoided school activities" includes avoiding any (extra-curricular) activities, skipping class, or staying home from school. In 2007, the survey wording was changed from "any extracurricular activities" to "any activities." Please use caution when comparing changes in this item over time. Avoiding one or more places in school includes the entrance, any hallways or stairs, parts of the cafeteria, restrooms, and other places inside the school building.

Top


Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.