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

Indicator 21: Students' Reports of Safety and Security Measures Observed at School

In 2011, about 77 percent of students ages 1218 reported observing one or more security cameras to monitor the school during the day at their schools, and 70 percent of students reported the presence of security guards and/or assigned police officers.

Schools use a variety of measures to promote the safety of students, ranging from codes of student conduct to metal detectors. In the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, students ages 1218 were asked whether their schools used certain security measures.45 Security measures include metal detectors, locker checks, security cameras, security guards or police officers, adult supervision in hallways, badges or picture identification for students, a code of student conduct, locked entrance or exit doors during the day, and a requirement that visitors sign in. In 2011, nearly all students ages 1218 reported that they observed the use of at least one of the selected security measures at their schools (figure 21.1 and table 21.1).

In 2011, most students ages 1218 reported that their schools had a code of student conduct (96 percent) and a requirement that visitors sign in (95 percent). Approximately 89 percent of students reported the presence of other school staff or other adult supervision in the hallway, and 77 percent of students reported the use of one or more security cameras at their schools. Seventy percent of students reported the presence of security guards and/or assigned police officers, 65 percent reported locked entrance or exit doors during the day, and 53 percent reported locker checks. In addition, 25 percent of students reported that the wearing of badges or picture identification was required at their schools. Metal detectors were the least observed of the selected safety and security measures: 11 percent of students reported the use of metal detectors at their schools.

The percentage of students who reported the presence of one or more security cameras to monitor the school increased between the two most recent survey years as well as over the past 10 years. Specifically, 77 percent of students reported observing the use of one or more security cameras at their schools in 2011, which represented an increase from 70 percent in 2009 as well as an overall increase from 39 percent in 2001. Regarding the school security measure of having locked entrance or exit doors during the day, the percentage of students who reported observing this security measure increased from 38 percent in 1999 to 65 percent in 2011. Over the same period, the percentage of students who reported a requirement that visitors sign in increased (87 vs. 95 percent) as did the percentage who reported the presence of metal detectors at school (9 vs. 11 percent).

The percentage of students who reported the presence of security guards and/or assigned police officers was not measurably different from 2009 to 2011. The percentage of students who reported the presence of security guards and/or police officers increased from 54 percent in 1999 to 64 percent in 2001 and to 70 percent in 2003; however, there was no significant trend in this percentage between 2003 and 2011.

From 2009 to 2011, the percentage of students who reported other school staff or other adult supervision in the hallway decreased from 91 to 89 percent, although the percentage in 2011 was not measurably different from the percentage in 1999. Between the earliest survey year for which data were reported and 2011, no measurable increases or decreases were detected in the percentages of students who reported locker checks, requirements that students wear badges or picture identification, or a code of student conduct in their schools during the school year.

This indicator has been updated to include 2011 data. For more information: Table 21.1, and DeVoe and Bauer (2011), (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2012314).


45 Readers should note that this indicator relies on student reports of security measures and provides estimates based on students' awareness of the measure rather than on documented practice. See Indicator 20 for a summary of the use of various security measures as reported by schools.


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