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Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2001
Executive Summary



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


Full Report (PDF)

-Supplemental Tables (PDF - 145 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 - 73 KB)

-Appendix C   Glossary of Terms (PDF - 25 KB)

-Excel Tables   Zip Format (307 KB)

Executive Summary

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. Student safety is of concern outside of school as well. In fact, as the data in this report show, more serious victimizations happen away from school than at school.1 In 1999, students were more than two times as likely to be victims of serious violent crime away from school as at school (Indicator 2).2

In 1999, students ages 12 through 18 were victims of about 2.5 million total crimes at school. In that same year, these students were victims of about 186,000 serious violent crimes at school (that is, rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) (Indicator 2). There were also 47 school-associated violent deaths in the United States between July 1, 1998, and June 30, 1999, including 38 homicides, 33 of which involved school-aged children (Indicator 1).

The total nonfatal victimization rate for young people generally declined between 1992 and 1999. 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 large part to the decrease in percentages of students in grades 7 through 9 who were victimized. Between 1995 and 1999, the prevalence of reported victimization 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, the prevalence rates of some types of crimes at school have not changed. For example, between 1993 and 1999, 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 to 8 percent (Indicator 4).

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 13). 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 15).

There was an increase in the use of marijuana among students in grades 9 through 12 between 1993 and 1995, but percentages of students reporting marijuana use were similar in 1995, 1997, and 1999. In 1999, about 27 percent of these students had used marijuana in the last 30 days (Indicator 18). Furthermore, in 1995, 1997, and 1999, about one-third of these students (between 30 and 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 19). 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 present, indicating that more work needs to be done.

1 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.
2 "Students" refers to persons 12 though 18 years of age who have attended any grade equal to or less than high school. An uncertain percent-age of these persons may not have attended school during the survey reference period.

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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education