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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2012
NCES 2013-036
2013

Indicator 5: Teachers Threatened With Injury or Physically Attacked by Students

A greater percentage of teachers in city schools than teachers in suburban, town, or rural schools reported being threatened with injury during the 200708 school year.

Students are not the only victims of intimidation or violence in schools. Teachers are also subject to threats and physical attacks, and students from their schools sometimes commit these offenses. In the Schools and Staffing Survey, teachers were asked whether they had been threatened with injury or physically attacked by a student from their school in the previous 12 months. During the 200708 school year, a smaller percentage of teachers (7 percent) were threatened with injury by a student from their school than in 199394 (12 percent) and 19992000 (9 percent), though this percentage was not measurably different from the percentage in 200304 (7 percent; figure 5.1 and table 5.1). The percentage of teachers reporting that they had been physically attacked by a student from their school (4 percent) was not measurably different in 200708 than in any previous survey year (table 5.2).

A greater percentage of teachers in city schools than teachers in suburban, town, or rural schools reported being threatened with injury during the 200708 school year (figure 5.2 and table 5.1). Ten percent of teachers in city schools were threatened with injury by students, compared to 7 percent of teachers in town schools and 6 percent each of teachers in suburban and rural schools. A greater percentage of teachers in city schools (5 percent) and suburban schools (4 percent) than teachers in rural schools (3 percent) reported being physically attacked (table 5.2).

During 200708, teachers' reports of being threatened or physically attacked by students varied according to the instructional level of their school. A greater percentage of secondary school teachers (8 percent) than elementary school teachers (7 percent) reported being threatened with injury by a student, and this pattern held for teachers in suburban schools as well as for teachers in rural schools (figure 5.2 and table 5.1). The apparent difference in the percentage of elementary and secondary teachers in city schools who reported being threatened with injury was not statistically significant. However, a greater percentage of elementary school teachers (6 percent) reported having been physically attacked than secondary school teachers (2 percent), and this pattern held true for teachers in city, suburban, town, and rural schools (table 5.2).

A greater percentage of public than private school teachers reported being threatened with injury (8 vs. 3 percent) or physically attacked (4 vs. 2 percent) by students during 200708 (tables 5.1 and 5.2). Among teachers in city schools, there were at least five times as many public school teachers as private school teachers who reported being threatened with injury (12 vs. 2 percent) and at least four times as many public school teachers as private school teachers who reported being physically attacked (6 vs. 1 percent).

In all survey years, a greater percentage of male teachers reported having been threatened with injury than female teachers (table 5.1). For example, in 200708, about 9 percent of male teachers reported that they were threatened with injury by students, compared to 7 percent of female teachers; this pattern held true for teachers in city and suburban schools in 200708, as well.

Public school teachers' reports of being threatened with injury or physically attacked varied among the states and the District of Columbia. During 200708, the percentage of public school teachers who reported being threatened with injury during the previous 12 months ranged from 3 percent in North Dakota to 17 percent in the District of Columbia (table 5.3), and the percentage who reported being physically attacked ranged from 2 percent in New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Ohio to 8 percent in Maryland (table 5.4).

This indicator repeats information first reported in the 2009 Indicators of School Crime and Safety report. For more information: Tables 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4, appendix B for definitions of school levels and locale codes, and Coopersmith (2009). (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2010012).


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