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

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

In 2011, about 6 percent of students ages 1218 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 skip school activities or avoid certain places in school (Schreck and Miller 2003). To measure students' perception of safety, the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey asks students ages 1218 whether they avoided school activities or one or more places in school because they were fearful that someone might attack or harm them.38 In 2011, about 6 percent of students reported that they avoided at least one school activity or one or more places in school during the previous school year because they feared being attacked or harmed. Specifically, 2 percent avoided at least one school activity, and 5 percent avoided one or more places in school39 (figure 18.1 and table 18.1).

There was no overall pattern of increase or decrease between 1999 and 2011 in the percentage of students who reported that they avoided at least one school activity or one or more places in school because of fear of attack or harm, and the percentage of students who reported this avoidance in 2011 (6 percent) was not measurably different from that in 2009 (5 percent). In 2011, about 1 percent each of students reported that they avoided any activities, avoided any classes, and stayed home from school. By school building location, 2 percent each of students reported that they avoided the hallways or stairs, parts of the school cafeteria, and any school restrooms; 1 percent each reported that they avoided the entrance to the school and other places inside the school building.

Students' reports of avoiding one or more places in school because of fear of attack or harm varied by student characteristics in 2011 (figure 18.2 and table 18.2). A higher percentage of Hispanic students (6 percent) than White students (4 percent), Asian students (3 percent), and "other" race/ethnicity students (3 percent) reported avoiding one or more places in school. By grade, a higher percentage of 6th- graders (7 percent) than 9th-graders, 11th-graders, or 12th-graders (4 percent each) reported avoiding one or more places in school. Also, a higher percentage of female than male students (5 vs. 4 percent) reported avoiding one or more places in school.

In 2011, students' reports of avoiding one or more places in school also varied by urbanicity. A higher percentage of students in urban areas (5 percent) than in rural areas (4 percent) reported avoiding one of more places in school. Furthermore, there were differences by school sector: a higher percentage of students in public schools (5 percent) than in private schools (2 percent) reported avoiding one or more places in school.

This indicator has been updated to include 2011 data. For more information: Tables 18.1 and 18.2, and DeVoe and Bauer (2011), (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2012314).


38 For the 2001 survey, the wording was changed from "attack or harm" to "attack or threat of attack." See appendix A for more information.
39 "Avoided school activities" includes avoiding any (extracurricular) activities, skipping class, or staying home from school. In 2007, 2009, and 2011, 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 avoiding the entrance, any hallways or stairs, parts of the cafeteria, restrooms, and other places inside the school building.


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