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

Indicator 9: Students’ Reports of Illegal Drug Availability on School Property

In 2011, about 26 percent of students in grades 9–12 reported that illegal drugs were offered, sold, or given to them on school property. This percentage represents a decrease from 1995, when 32 percent of students reported that illegal drugs were offered, sold, or given to them.

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 preceding the survey.25 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 then decreased to 26 percent in 2011 (table 9.1). There was no measurable difference in the percentages reported in 1993 and 2011. However, the percentage of students who reported that drugs were made available to them on school property in 2011 (26 percent) was higher than the percentage of students who reported that drugs were made available to them on school property in 2009 (23 percent; figure 9.1 and table 9.1).

Student reports regarding the availability of illegal drugs on school property varied by student characteristics. For example, in each survey year from 1993 to 2011, a higher percentage of males than females reported that drugs were made available to them on school property (figure 9.1 and table 9.1). Specifically, in 2011, some 29 percent of males and 22 percent of females reported that drugs were offered, sold, or given to them on school property. For both males and females, the percentages reported in 2011 were not measurably different from the percentages reported in 2009 (26 percent of males and 19 percent of females).

In 2011, a higher percentage of 10th-graders reported that illegal drugs were made available to them on school property than 9th-graders or 12th-graders; however, there were no other measurable differences across grades in the percentages of students reporting that illegal drugs were made available to them in 2011 (table 9.1). Twenty-four percent of 9th-graders and 12th-graders, as well as 27 percent of 11th-graders, and 28 percent of 10th-graders reported that drugs were made available to them that year.

The percentage 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). In 2011, higher percentages of American Indian/Alaska Native students (40 percent), Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian students (39 percent), and Hispanic students and students of two or more races (33 percent each), than White, Black, or Asian students (23 percent each) reported that illegal drugs were offered, sold, or given to them on school property.

In 2011, public school student reports of the availability of illegal drugs on school property varied across the 43 states and jurisdictions for which data were available. Among these states, the percentage of students reporting that drugs were offered, sold, or given to them on school property ranged from 12 percent in Iowa to 35 percent in Arizona and New Mexico (table 9.2).

This indicator has been updated to include 2011 data. For more information: Tables 9.1 and 9.2, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012), (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6104.pdf).


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


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