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Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2001
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)

-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)

Line
Executive Summary

Key Findings
All of the comparisons described in this report were statistically significant at the 0.05 level. Some of the key findings from the various sections of this report are as follows:4

Violent Deaths at School
From July 1, 1998, through June 30, 1999, there were 47 school-associated violent deaths in the United States. Thirty-eight of these violent deaths were homicides, six were suicides, two were killed by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty, and one was unintentional (Indicator 1). Thirty-three of the 38 school-associated homicides were of school-aged children. By comparison, a total of 2,407 children ages 5 through 19 were victims of homicide in the United States from July 1, 1998, through June 30, 1999. Four of the six school-associated suicides occurring from July 1, 1998, through June 30, 1999, were of school-aged children. A total of 1,854 children ages 5 through 19 committed suicide that year.

Nonfatal Student Victimization - Student Reports
Students ages 12 through 18 were more likely to be victims of nonfatal serious violent crime-including rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault-away from school than when they were at school (Indicator 2). In 1999, students in this age range were victims of about 476,000 serious violent crimes away from school, compared with about 186,000 at school.

  • The percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 who have been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property5 has not changed significantly in recent years. In 1993, 1995, 1997, and 1999, about 7 to 8 percent of students reported being threatened or injured with a weapon such as a gun, knife, or club on school property in the past 12 months (Indicator 4).
  • In 1999, 12- through 18-year-old students living in urban and suburban locales were equally vulnerable to serious violent crime at school. Away from school, however, urban students were more vulnerable to serious violent crime than were suburban students, and suburban students were more likely to experience serious violent victimization than were rural students. Yet, student vulnerability to theft at school and away from school in 1999 was similar in urban, suburban, and rural areas (Indicator 2).
  • Younger students (ages 12 through 14) were more likely than older students (ages 15 through 18) to be victims of crime at school. However, older students were more likely than younger students to be victimized away from school (Indicator 2).

Violence and Crime at School-Public School Principal/ Disciplinarian Reports
In 1996-97, 10 percent of all public schools reported at least one serious violent crime to the police or a law enforcement representative. Principals' reports of serious violent crimes included murder, rape or other type of sexual battery, suicide, physical attack or fight with a weapon, or robbery. Another 47 percent of public schools reported at least one less serious violent or nonviolent crime (but not a serious violent one). Crimes in this category include physical attack or fight without a weapon, theft/larceny, and vandalism. The remaining 43 percent of public schools did not report any of these crimes to the police (Indicator 7).

  • Elementary schools were much less likely than either middle or high schools to report any type of crime in 1996-97. Elementary schools were much more likely to report vandalism (31 percent) than any other crime (19 percent or less) (Indicator 8).
  • At the middle and high school levels, physical attack or fight without a weapon was generally the most com-monly reported crime in 1996-97 (9 and 8 per 1,000 students, respectively). Theft or larceny was more common at the high school than at the middle school level (6 versus 4 per 1,000 students) (Indicator 8).

Nonfatal Teacher Victimization at School-Teacher Reports
Over the 5-year period from 1995 through 1999, teachers were victims of approximately 1,708,000 nonfatal crimes at school, including 1,073,000 thefts and 635,000 violent crimes (rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault) (Indicator 9). On average, this translates into 79 crimes per 1,000 teachers per year.

  • During the 1995 through 1999 period, senior high school and middle/junior high school teachers were more likely to be victims of violent crimes (most of which were simple assaults) than elementary school teachers (38 and 54, respectively, versus 16 crimes per 1,000 teachers) (Indicator 9).
  • Teachers were differentially victimized by violent crimes at school according to where they taught. Over the 5-year period from 1995 through 1999, urban teachers were more likely to be victims of violent crimes than suburban and rural teachers (39 versus 22 and 20, respectively, per 1,000 teachers) (Indicator 9).
  • In the 1993-94 school year, 12 percent of all elementary and secondary school teachers were threatened with injury by a student, and 4 percent were physically attacked by a student. This represented about 341,000 teachers who were victims of threats of injury by students that year, and 119,000 teachers who were victims of attacks by students (Indicator 10).

School Environment
Between 1995 and 1999, the percentages of students who felt unsafe while they were at school and while they were going to and from school decreased. In 1995, 9 percent of students ages 12 through 18 sometimes or most of the time feared they were going to be attacked or harmed at school. In 1999, this percentage had fallen to 5 percent. During the same period, the percentage of students fearing they would be attacked while traveling to and from school fell from 7 percent to 4 percent (Indicator 12).

  • Between 1993 and 1999, the percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 who reported carrying a weapon on school property within the previous 30 days fell from 12 percent to 7 percent (about a 42 percent reduction) (Indicator 11).
  • Between 1995 and 1999, the percentage of students ages 12 through 18 who avoided one or more places at school for fear of their own safety decreased, from 9 to 5 percent. (Indicator 13).
  • In 1999, about 13 percent of students ages 12 through 18 reported that someone at school had used hate-related words against them. That is, in the prior 6 months someone at school called them a derogatory word having to do with race/ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. In addition, about 36 percent of students saw hate-related graffiti at school (Indicator 14).
  • Between 1995 and 1999, the percentage of students who reported that street gangs were present at their schools decreased. In 1995, 29 percent of students reported gangs being present in their schools. By 1999, this percentage had fallen to 17 percent (Indicator 15).
  • In 1999, about 5 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 had at least one drink of alcohol on school property in the previous 30 days. Half of students (about 50 percent) had at least one drink anywhere during the same period (Indicator 17).
  • There was an increase in the use of marijuana among students in grades 9 through 12 anywhere and on school property between 1993 and 1995, but no change between 1995, 1997, and 1999. About one-quarter (27 percent) of students reported using marijuana anywhere in the last 30 days in 1999 and 7 percent reported using marijuana on school property (Indicator 18).
  • In 1995, 1997, and 1999, about one-third of all students in grades 9 through 12 (between 30 and 32 percent) reported that someone had offered, sold, or given them an illegal drug on school property. This was an increase from 1993 when 24 percent of such students reported that illegal drugs were available to them on school property (Indicator 19).
4 See appendix B for details on the statistical methodology.
5 Definitions for "on school property" and "at school" may differ. See appendix C for specific definitions.

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education