Violent Deaths at School
Nonfatal Student Victimization-Student Reports
Violence and Crime at School-Public School Reports
Full Report (PDF) (PDF - 1152 KB)
7. Violent and other incidents at public schools and those reported to the police
Seventy-one percent of public schools experienced one or more violent incidents, while 36 percent reported one or more such incidents to the police.
This indicator provides the percentage of schools that experienced one or more crimes and the total number of crimes reported by schools. In the School Survey on Crime and Safety, principals of public schools were asked to provide the number of violent incidents, serious violent incidents, thefts, and other incidents that occurred at their school, as well as the number of incidents that were reported to the police. Violent incidents include rape, sexual battery other than rape, physical attack or fight with or without a weapon, threat of physical attack with or without a weapon, and robbery with or without a weapon.
In 1999?2000, an estimated 1.5 million violent incidents occurred in public elementary and secondary schools (table 7.1). Seventy-one percent of public schools experienced one or more violent incidents and 36 percent of schools reported one or more such incidents to the police (tables 7.1 and 7.2). Twenty percent of schools experienced one or more serious violent incidents (which are a subset of violent incidents and include rape, sexual battery other than rape, physical attack or fight with a weapon, threat of physical attack with a weapon, and robbery with or without a weapon) and 46 percent of public schools experienced one or more thefts. These translate into an estimated 61,000 serious violent incidents and 218,000 thefts at public schools in 1999?2000. When looking at reports to police, 15 percent of public schools reported one or more serious violent incidents to the police and 28 percent reported one or more thefts to the police.
The prevalence of violent incidents and those reported to the police varied by the school level and size of the school (figures 7.1 and 7.2 and tables 7.1 and 7.2). Schools with students in higher grades were more likely to experience a violent incident than those with students in lower grades. Specifically, secondary schools were more likely to have a violent incident than elementary, middle, or combined schools (92 percent vs. 61?87 percent for the other school levels). A similar pattern was observed for those incidents that were reported to the authorities: 71 percent of secondary schools reported a violent incident, compared with 20 percent of elementary schools, 56 percent of middle schools, and 51 percent of combined schools. Likewise, larger schools were more likely to have a violent incident and report one or more violent incidents to the police than smaller schools. About 89 percent of schools with 1,000 students or more had a violent incident, compared with 61 percent of schools with less than 300 students.
When examining violent incidents by the location of public schools, city schools were more likely than urban fringe schools to experience or report to the police at least one violent incident during the 1999?2000 school year (figure 7.3 and tables 7.1 and 7.2). Seventy-seven percent of urban schools had one or more violent incidents and 44 percent reported one or more incidents to the police, compared with 67 and 35 percent, respectively, of urban fringe schools. Rural schools were the least likely to report one or more violent incidents to the police (28 percent vs. 35?44 percent for public schools in urban fringe and city areas).