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Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2000

Executive Summary

Foreword

Acknowledgments

Violent Deaths at School

Nonfatal Student Victimization-Student Reports

Violence and Crime at School-Public School Principal/ Disciplinarian Reports

Nonfatal Teacher Victimization at School-Teacher Reports

School Environment

Figures

Full Report (PDF - 2,265 KB)

-Supplemental Tables (PDF - 143 KB)

-Standard Error Tables (PDF - 144 KB)

-Appendix A   School Practices and Policies Related to Safety and Discipline' (PDF - 52 KB)

-Appendix B   Technical Notes (PDF - 72 KB)

-Appendix C   Glossary of Terms (PDF - 24 KB)

-Excel Tables   Zip Format (99 KB)

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Executive Summary
Executive Summary Home
Organization | Key Findings

Schools should be safe and secure places for all students, teachers, and staff members. Without a safe learning environment, teachers cannot teach and students cannot learn. In fact, as the data in this report show, more victimizations happen away from school than at school1. In 1998, students were about two times as likely to be victims of serious violent crime away from school as at school (Indicator 2).

In 1998, students ages 12 through 18 were victims of more than 2.7 million total crimes at school (Indicator 2). In that same year, these students were victims of about 253,000 serious violent crimes at school (that is, rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault). There were also 60 school-associated violent deaths in the United States between July 1, 1997 and June 30, 1998—including 47 homicides (Indicator 1).

The total nonfatal victimization rate for young people declined between 1993 and 1998. The percentage of students being victimized at school also declined over the last few years. Between 1995 and 1999, the percentage of students who reported being victims of crime at school decreased from 10 percent to 8 percent (Indicator 3). This decline was due in part to a decline for students in grades 7 through 9. Between 1995 and 1999, the prevalence of reported vic-timization dropped from 11 percent to 8 percent for 7th graders, from 11 percent to 8 percent for 8th graders, and from 12 percent to 9 percent for 9th graders.

However, for some types of crimes at school, rates have not changed. For example, between 1993 and 1997, the percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 who were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property in the past 12 months remained constant—at about 7 or 8 percent (Indicator 4). The percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 who reported being in a physical fight on school property in the past 12 months also remained un-changed between 1993 and 1997—at about 15 percent (Indicator 5).

As the rate of victimization in schools has declined or remained constant, students also seem to feel more secure at school now than just a few years ago. The percentage of students ages 12 through 18 who reported avoiding one or more places at school for their own safety decreased between 1995 and 1999—from 9 to 5 percent (Indicator 14). Furthermore, the percentage of students who reported that street gangs were present at their schools decreased from 1995 to 1999. In 1999, 17 percent of students ages 12 through 18 reported that they had street gangs at their schools compared with 29 percent in 1995 (Indicator 16).

There was an increase in the use of marijuana among students between 1993 and 1995, but no change between 1995 and 1997. In 1997, about 26 percent of these students had used marijuana in the last 30 days (Indicator 19). Furthermore, almost one-third of all students in grades 9 through 12 (32 percent) reported that someone had offered, sold, or given them an illegal drug on school property—an increase from 24 percent in 1993 (Indicator 20). Therefore, the data shown in this report present a mixed picture of school safety. While overall school crime rates have declined, violence, gangs, and drugs are still evident in some schools, indicating that more work needs to be done.

1The reader should be cautious in making comparisons between victimization rates on school property and elsewhere. These data do not take into account the number of hours that students spend on school property and the number of hours they spend elsewhere.

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