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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2004

In each school year from July 1, 1992, to June 30, 2000, youth ages 5-19 were at least 70 times more likely to be murdered away from school than at school.

Violent deaths in schools are tragic events that affect not only the individuals and families directly involved, but also many others in the schools and communities where they occur. In the 2001-02 school year, 17 school-aged youth were victims of a school-associated violent death. In this indicator, a school-associated violent death is a homicide, suicide, legal intervention (involving a law enforcement officer), or unintentional firearm-related death in which the fatal injury occurred on the campus of a functioning elementary or secondary school in the United States. Deaths that occurred while the victim was on the way to or from regular sessions at school, or while the victim was attending or traveling to or from an official school-sponsored event, were also considered a school-associated violent death. Victims of school-associated violent deaths include students, staff members, and other nonstudents. Data were drawn from a number of data sets to enable comparisons of homicides and suicides at school and away from school. Data for school-associated violent deaths during the 1999-2000 through 2000-01 school years are preliminary.

In the most recent school year for which data from all sources are available, from July 1, 1999, to June 30, 2000, there were 32 school-associated violent deaths (table 1.1). Of these violent deaths, 24 were homicides and 8 were suicides. Sixteen of the homicides and 6 of the suicides were of school-aged youth (ages 5-19) at school (figure 1.1 and table 1.1). Combined, this translates into less than 1 homicide or suicide of a school-aged youth at school per million students enrolled during the 1999-2000 school year.2 Away from school, during roughly the same time period, there were 2,124 homicides and 1,922 suicides of youth ages 5-19.

From July 1, 1992, to June 30, 2000, 390 school-associated violent deaths occurred on campuses of U.S. elementary or secondary schools. Of these violent deaths, 234 were homicides and 43 were suicides of school-aged youth (ages 5-19). Away from school during roughly the same period,3 24,406 children ages 5-19 were victims of homicide and 16,735 children committed suicide. In each school year, youth were at least 70 times more likely to be murdered away from school than at school.

Between July 1, 1992, and June 30, 1999, no consistent pattern of increase or decrease was observed in the number of homicides or suicides of school-aged youth at school (figure 1.2 and table 1.1). During this period, between 28 and 34 homicides and between 1 and 7 suicides of school-aged youth occurred at school in each year. However, from July 1, 1998, to June 30, 2002, there has been a decline in the number of homicides at school, from 33 homicides of youth at school during the 1998-99 school year, to 14 during the 2001-2002 school year.

This indicator repeats information from the 2003 Indicators of School Crime and Safety report.

2 The total number of students in grades K-12 enrolled during the Fall of the 1999 school year was 51,360,000 (U.S. Department of Education forthcoming).

3 The estimates include homicides of youth ages 5-19 occurring from July 1, 1992, to June 30, 2000, and suicides of youth ages 5-19 occurring from 1993 to 2000 calendar years.

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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education