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Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2002
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) (PDF - 1152 KB)

-Supplemental Tables (PDF - 154 KB)

-Standard Error Tables (PDF - 156 KB)

-Appendix A   School Practices and Policies Related to Safety and Discipline' (PDF - 60 KB)

-Appendix B   Technical Notes (PDF - 83 KB)

-Appendix C   Glossary of Terms (PDF - 32 KB)

-Excel Tables   Zip Format (240 KB)




Executive Summary

Schools should be safe and secure places for all students, teachers, and staff members. Without a safe learning environment, teachers may have difficulty teaching and students may find their environment a difficult one in which to learn. Priorities set by schools, local authorities, and state and federal government have prompted the nation to focus on improving the safety of American schools. The effort toward providing safer schools requires establishing good indicators of the current state of school crime and safety, and periodically monitoring and updating these indicators. Student safety is of concern outside of school as well. In fact, as the data in this report show, a larger number of serious violent victimizations happen away from school than at school.1 In 2000, students were more than twice as likely to be victims of serious violent crime away from school than at school (Indicator 2).2

In 2000, students ages 12 through 18 were victims of about 1.9 million total crimes of violence or theft at school (Indicator 2). In that same year, students in this age range were victims of about 128,000 serious violent crimes at school (i.e., rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault). 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 students ages 12 through 18 generally declined between 1992 and 2000, from 144 per 1,000 students in 1992 to 72 per 1,000 students in 2000 (Indicator 2). The percentage of students being victimized at school also has declined over the last few years. Between 1995 and 2001, the percentage of students who reported being victims of crime at school decreased from 10 percent to 6 percent (Indicator 3). This decline was due in large part to the decrease in the percentage of students reporting being victims of theft at school, which declined from 7 percent in 1995 to 4 percent in 2001.

However, the prevalence of other problem behavior at school has increased. For example, in 2001, 8 percent of students reported that they had been bullied at school in the last 6 months, up from 5 percent in 1999 (Indicator 6).

For some other types of crime at school, the prevalence has not changed. Between 1993 and 2001, 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 relatively constant-between 7 and 9 percent (Indicator 4).

As the rates of criminal victimization in schools have 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 from 9 percent in 1995 to 5 percent in 1999 and 2001 (Indicator 13).

The data shown in this report present a mixed picture of school safety. While overall victimization rates have declined, more work needs to be done to address the issues related to school violence and safety.

1 These data are not adjusted by the number of hours that students spend on school property and the number of hours they spend elsewhere.
2 For this indicator, "students" refers to persons 12 through 18 years of age regardless of whether they attended school during the survey reference period.

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