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Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2003
Executive Summary



Violent Deaths at School

Nonfatal Student Victimization-Student Reports

Violence and Crime at School-Public School Reports

Nonfatal Teacher Victimization at School-Teacher Reports

School Environment


Full Report (PDF) (PDF - 1152 KB)

-Supplemental Tables (PDF - 224 KB)

-Standard Error Tables (PDF - 186 KB)

-Appendix A   Technical Notes (PDF - 113 KB)

-Appendix B   Glossary of Terms (PDF - 45 KB)

-Excel Tables   Zip Format (207 KB)

Executive Summary

Organization of this Report

This report, the sixth in a series of annual reports on school crime and Safety from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), presents the latest available data on school crime and student Safety. The report repeats some indicators from the 2002 report and also provides updated data on nonfatal student victimization; nonfatal victimization of teachers; principal reports of select crimes; and principal reports of disciplinary problems and actions at school. This year's report also includes data from last year's Indicators on fatal student victimization and students' reports of being threatened or injured with a weapon, being in fights, being bullied, avoiding places, being called hate-related words, and seeing hate-related graffiti. Data are also included on students' perceptions of personal Safety, gangs, carrying weapons at school, using alcohol and marijuana, and drug availability on school property.

The report is organized as a series of indicators, with each indicator presenting data on a different aspect of school crime and Safety. It starts with a description of the most serious violence. There are five sections to the report: Violent Deaths at School; Nonfatal Student Victimization-Student Reports; Violence and Crime at School- Public School Reports; Nonfatal Teacher Victimization at School-Teacher Reports; and School Environment. Each section contains a set of indicators that, taken together, describe a distinct aspect of school crime and Safety.

Rather than relying on data from a large omnibus survey of school crime and Safety, this report uses a variety of independent data sources from federal departments and agencies, including the BJS, NCES, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each data source has an independent sample design, data collection method, and questionnaire design. By combining multiple and independent sources of data, this report aims to present a more complete portrait of school crime and Safety than would be possible using any single source of information.

However, because the report relies on so many data sets, the age groups, time periods, and types of respondents analyzed can vary from indicator to indicator. Readers should keep these variations in mind when they compare data from different indicators. Readers should also note that trends in the data are discussed when possible. Where trends are not discussed, either the data are not available in earlier surveys or survey question wording changed from year to year, eliminating the ability to discuss any trend. Furthermore, while every effort has been made to keep key definitions consistent across indicators, readers should always use caution in making comparisons between results from different data sets for several reasons: the data sets may contain definitional differences, such as those used for specific crimes and crimes that occur "at school," and respondent differences, such as examining students who report a victimization (at the individual level) and a school reporting one or more victimizations school wide. Appendix A of this report contains descriptions of all the data sets used in this report.

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