Between 1992 and 2002, the victimization rate for students ages 12-18 generally declined for thefts, violent crimes, and serious violent crimes at school and away from school.
Theft and violence at school and while going to and from school can lead to a disruptive and threatening environment, physical injury, and emotional stress, and can be an obstacle to student achievement (Elliott, Hamburg, and Williams 1998). Data from the National Crime Victimization Survey show that students ages 12-18 were victims of about 1.8 million nonfatal crimes (theft plus violent crime) while they were at school and about 1.5 million crimes while they were away from school in 2002 (tables 2.1 and 2.3).4 These figures represent victimization rates of 64 crimes per 1,000 students at school, and 55 crimes per 1,000 students away from school (tables 2.2 and 2.4).
Students ages 12-18 were more likely to be victims of theft at school than away from school in most years between 1992 and 2002 (tables 2.1 and 2.3). In 2002, about 1.1 million thefts occurred at school, and about 790,000 occurred away from school. In 2002, students ages 12-18 were victims of about 659,000 violent crimes at school (rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault), including 88,000 serious violent crimes (rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault). Away from school, students were victims of about 720,000 violent crimes, including 309,000 serious violent crimes. From 1992 to 1997, the victimization rates for violent crime were lower at school than away from school; however, no such differences were detected between 1998 and 2002, except in 2000. In addition, the rates for serious violent crime were lower at school than away from school in each survey year from 1992 to 2002.
The victimization rate for students ages 12-18 generally declined both at school and away from school between 1992 and 2002; this was true for the total crime rate as well as for thefts, violent crimes, and serious violent crimes (figure 2.1 and tables 2.2 and 2.4). For example, the violent victimization rate declined between 1992 and 2002 from 48 to 24 crimes per 1,000 students at school and from 71 to 26 crimes per 1,000 students away from school. While this overall trend indicates a decline during this time frame, between 2001 and 2002, no differences were detected in the total crime rate, the rate of theft, or the rate of violent victimization either at or away from school.
In 2002, younger students (ages 12-14) were more likely than older students (ages 15-18) to be victims of crime at school, while older students were more likely than younger students to be victims away from school (figures 2.2 and 2.3 and tables 2.2 and 2.4). No differences were detected in the rates of theft, violent victimization, and serious violent victimization between males and females both at school and away from school. The rates of theft and serious violence at school were higher for urban and suburban students than for rural students. However, no differences were detected in the likelihood of theft and serious violent victimization away from school between students living in urban, suburban, and rural areas.
This indicator has been updated to include 2002 data.
4 "Students" refers to persons 12-18 years old who reported being in any elementary or secondary grade at the time of the survey. An uncertain percentage of these persons may not have attended school during the survey reference period. These data do not take into account the number of hours that students spend at school and the number of hours they spend away from school.