The percentage of youth homicides occurring at school remained at less than 2 percent of the total number of youth homicides, and the percentage of youth suicides occurring at school remained at less than 1 percent of the total number of youth suicides over all available survey years.
Violent deaths at schools are rare but tragic events with far-reaching effects on the school population and surrounding community. In this indicator, data on school-associated violent deaths are collected using the School Associated Violent Deaths Surveillance Study (SAVD).
The most recent data collected for this survey covers the time period from July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009. During this time period, there were 38 school-associated violent deaths in elementary and secondary schools in the United States (figure 1.1 and tables 1.1 and 1.2). A school-associated violent death is defined as "a homicide, suicide, or legal intervention (involving a law enforcement officer), 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 include not only students and staff members, but also others who are not students or staff members, such as parents. School-associated violent deaths include those that occurred while the victim was on the way to or returning from regular sessions at school or while the victim was attending or traveling to or from an official school-sponsored event. Of the 38 student, staff, and nonstudent school-associated violent deaths occurring between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2009, 24 were homicides and 14 were suicides (table 1.2). Data for school-associated violent deaths for the 200809 school year are preliminary.
Data on homicides and suicides at-school and away from- school were drawn from a number of sources, while away-from-school is added as a point of comparison. The availability for data on homicides and data on suicides at-school and away-from-school differs in time period. The most recent data available for total suicides of school-age youth only (youth ages 518) are for the 2007 calendar year; the most recent data available for total homicides of youth ages 518 are for the 200708 school year.2 During 200708, there were 1,701 homicides of youth ages 518 (figure 1.2 and table 1.1). During the 2007 calendar year, there were 1,231 suicides of youth ages 518. From July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009, there were 15 homicides and 7 suicides of school-age youth at school (figure 1.1 and table 1.1). In each year during the period 199293 to 200708, there were at least 50 times as many homicides of youth away from school than at school and generally at least 150 times as many suicides of youth away from school than at school. During the 200809 school year, there was approximately one homicide or suicide of a school-age youth at school per 2.5 million students enrolled.3
The percentage of youth homicides occurring at school remained at less than 2 percent of the total number of youth homicides over all available survey years, even though the absolute number of homicides of school-age youth at school varied to some degree across the years (figure 1.1 and table 1.1). Between the 199293 and 200809 school years, from 1 to 10 school-age youth committed suicide at school each year, with no consistent pattern of increase or decrease in the number of suicides. The percentage of youth suicides occurring at school remained at less than 1 percent of the total number of youth suicides over all available survey years.