Violent Deaths at School
Nonfatal Student Victimization-Student Reports
Nonfatal Teacher Victimization at School-Teacher Reports
Full Report (PDF) (PDF - 1152 KB)
5. Physical fights on school property
In recent years, the percentage of 9th ? 12th-grade students who reported being in a physical fight on school property has declined ? from 16 percent in 1993 to 13 percent in 2001.
Schools at which there are numerous physical fights may not be able to maintain a focused learning environment for students. Further, students who are involved in fights on school property may have difficulty succeeding in their studies (Hamburg 1998). In the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, students in grades 9?12 were asked about their general involvement in physical fights during the preceding 12 months (referred to as ?anywhere? in this analysis) and their involvement in physical fights on school property. The percentage of students in grades 9?12 who reported being in a fight anywhere declined from 1993 to 2001 ? from 42 percent in 1993 to 33 percent in 2001 (table 5.1). Similarly, the percentages of students who reported fighting on school property in these years also declined, from 16 percent in 1993 to 13 percent in 2001.
In all survey years, males were more likely than females to have been in a fight anywhere and on school property (figure 5.1 and table 5.1). In 2001, 43 percent of males said they had been in a fight anywhere, and 18 percent said they had been in a fight on school property. In that same year, 24 percent of females reported they had been in a fight anywhere, and 7 percent said they had been in a fight on school property. When looking at different grade levels, students in lower grades reported being in fights more frequently than students in higher grades both anywhere and on school property in all survey years (figure 5.2 and table 5.1). For example, in 2001, 17 percent of 9th-graders reported being in a fight on school property, while 8 percent of 12th-graders reported the same.
In 2001, the percentages of students engaging in fights anywhere varied according to students? race/ethnicity. Specifically, Asian students were less likely than Black, White, and Hispanic students to report being in a fight anywhere (22 percent vs. 32?37 percent for Black, White, and Hispanic students). However, a similar pattern could not be detected in the percentages of students who reported being in a fight at school. While there appear to be large differences in other racial/ethnic groups, these estimates are associated with large standard errors and should be interpreted with caution.