Violent Deaths at School
Nonfatal Student Victimization-Student Reports
Violence and Crime at School-Public School Reports
Nonfatal Teacher Victimization at School-Teacher Reports
Full Report (PDF) (PDF - 1152 KB)
11. Students carrying weapons on school property
Between 1993 and 2001, the percentage of students in grades 9?12 who reported carrying a weapon anywhere and at school declined.
The presence of weapons at school can create an intimidating and threatening atmosphere, making teaching and learning difficult (Ingersoll and LeBoeuf 1997). The percentage 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. In the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, students were asked if they had carried a weapon such as a gun, knife, or club in the past 30 days (referred to as ?anywhere? in this analysis) or carried one of these weapons onto school property in the past 30 days. In 2001, 17 percent of students in grades 9?12 reported they had carried a weapon anywhere, and about 6 percent reported they had carried a weapon on school property (table 11.1).
Between 1993 and 2001, the percentage of students who reported carrying a weapon anywhere generally declined from 22 to 17 percent. Similarly, the percentage of students who carried a weapon at school also declined during this period ? from 12 to 6 percent.
When looking at the types of students who carried weapons to school, the survey results show that in all years, males were at least two times more likely than females to carry a weapon ? both anywhere and on school property (figure 11.1 and table 11.1). For example, in 2001, 10 percent of males carried a weapon on school property, compared with 3 percent of females.
For most survey years, the likelihood of students reporting that they carried a weapon anywhere was inversely related to their grade level: students in lower grades were more likely to report that they did so than their peers in higher grades in all survey years except in 1999, at which time no such relationship was found (figure 11.2 and table 11.1). However, no consistent pattern could be detected by grade level for students who reported carrying a weapon at school in almost all of the survey years.
In 2001, there were some differences in the percentages of students carrying weapons anywhere and on school property according to students? race/ethnicity. Although there appear to be large differences in the prevalence of carrying weapons among students of various racial/ethnic groups, some of these estimates are associated with large standard errors and should be interpreted with caution.