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 2003.
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. In 2003, 33 percent of students in grades 9-12 reported being in a fight anywhere, and 13 percent said they had been in a fight on school property (table 5.1). Between 1993 and 2003, the percentage of students who reported being in a fight anywhere declined-from 42 percent in 1993 to 33 percent in 2003. Similarly, the percentages of students who reported fighting on school property in these years declined-from 16 to 13 percent.
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 2003, 41 percent of males said they had been in a fight anywhere, and 17 percent said they had been in a fight on school property. In that same year, 25 percent of females reported they had been in a fight anywhere, and 8 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 (figure 5.2 and table 5.1). For example, in 2003, 18 percent of 9th-graders, 13 percent of 10th-graders, 10 percent of 11th-graders, and 7 percent of 12th-graders reported being in a fight on school property.
In 2003, the percentages of students engaging in fights anywhere varied according to students' race/ethnicity. Specifically, Black and Hispanic students were more likely than White students and American Indian students were more likely than Asian and White students to report being in a fight anywhere and on school property. In 2003, 24 percent of American Indian students, 17 percent each of Black and Hispanic students, 13 percent of Asian students, and 10 percent of White students reported being in a fight on school property.
This indicator has been updated to include 2003 data.