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

Indicator 8: Students' Reports of Gangs at School

The percentage of students who reported that gangs were present at their school decreased from 20 percent in 2009 to 18 percent in 2011. A higher percentage of students from urban schools (23 percent) reported a gang presence than students from suburban (16 percent) and rural schools (12 percent) in 2011. The percentage of students from urban schools who reported a gang presence decreased from 31 percent in 2009 to 23 percent in 2011.

Gang activity in the vicinity of schools poses a risk to staff and student safety and to school security. Intimidation of staff and students by gang members has a large impact on the educational environment and perception of school safety (Smith et al. 2011). The School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey asked students ages 12–18 if gangs were present at their school during the school year.24

In 2011, about 18 percent of students ages 12–18 reported that gangs were present at their school during the school year. This was a decrease from the 20 percent of students who reported a gang presence in 2009. In 2011, a higher percentage of students from urban areas (23 percent) reported a gang presence at their school than students from suburban and rural areas (16 percent and 12 percent, respectively; figure 8.1 and table 8.1). While the percentages of students from suburban areas and rural areas who reported a gang presence at their school did not measurably change between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of students from urban areas who reported a gang presence at their school decreased from 31 percent in 2009 to 23 percent in 2011.

There were no measurable differences in the percentages of male and female students who reported a gang presence at their school (18 and 17 percent, respectively) in 2011. The percentage of female students who reported a gang presence did not measurably change between 2009 and 2011; however, the percentage of male students who reported a gang presence decreased from 21 percent in 2009 to 18 percent in 2011 (table 8.1).

Approximately 19 percent of students attending public schools reported that gangs were present at their school, compared with 2 percent of students attending private schools in 2011. The percentage of private school students who reported a gang presence at their school was not measurably different between the two most recent survey years 2009 and 2011 (2 percent in each year). In contrast, the percentage of public school students who reported a gang presence decreased from 22 percent in 2009 to 19 percent in 2011.

In 2011, a higher percentage of Black students (33 percent) than of Hispanic students (26 percent) reported the presence of gangs at their school. Also, higher percentages of Black students and Hispanic students than of White students (11 percent) and Asian students (10 percent) reported the presence of gangs at their schools. The percentage of White students who reported a gang presence decreased from 14 percent in 2009 to 11 percent in 2011. Similarly, the percentage of Hispanic students who reported a gang presence decreased from 33 percent in 2009 to 26 percent in 2011. However, the percentages of Black and Asian students who reported a gang presence were not measurably different between 2009 and 2011 (figure 8.2 and table 8.1).

The percentages of students in 6th through 8th grade who reported a gang presence at their school were lower than the percentages for students in 9th through 12th grade in 2011. Between 8 and 11 percent of 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-graders reported the presence of gangs, compared with 21 percent of 12th- graders, 22 percent of 9th-graders, and 23 percent each of 10th- and 11th-graders (table 8.1).

This indicator has been updated with 2011 data. For more information: table 8.1, and DeVoe and Bauer (2011), (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2012314).


24 "At school" includes the school building, on school property, on a school bus, or going to and from school.


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