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
Full Report (PDF)
11. Prevalence of students carrying weapons on school property*
The presence of weapons at school can create an intimidating and threatening atmosphere, making teaching and learning difficult. The percentages of students who report that they carry a gun or other weapon on school property is an indicator of the breadth of the problem of weapons at school.
*This indicator has been updated to include 1999 data.
- In every survey year, more students reported carrying a weapon anywhere7 than reported carrying a weapon on school property in the past 30 days (figures 11.1 and 11.2 and tables 11.1 and 11.2). In 1999, 17 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 reported carrying a weapon such as a gun, knife, or club anywhere. About 7 percent reported they had carried a weapon on school property.
- Between 1993 and 1999, the percentage of students who reported carrying a weapon anywhere fell from 22 percent to 17 percent (figures 11.1 and 11.2 and tables 11.1 and 11.2). There was also a decline in the percentage of students who carried a weapon at school-from 12 percent in 1993 to 7 percent in 1999 (about a 42 percent reduction).
- In all years, males were approximately between four and five times more likely than females to carry a weapon anywhere and between three and four times more likely to carry a weapon on school property (figure 11.1 and table 11.1). For example, in 1999, 11 percent of males carried a weapon on school property, compared with 3 percent of females.
- Students in lower grades were generally more likely to have carried a weapon anywhere than were students in higher grades in all survey years except 1999 (figure 11.2 and tables 11.1 and 11.2). However, at school, students in all grades were equally likely to carry a weapon in all survey years, except 1995.
- There were few racial/ethnic differences in the percentages of students carrying weapons anywhere and on school property (tables 11.1 and 11.2)8.
7 The term "anywhere" is not used in the YRBS questionnaire. Rather, students are simply asked during the past 30 days, on how many days they carried a weapon.
8 While there appear to be large differences among racial/ethnic groups, these differ-ences are associated with large standard errors and are not statistically significant.