In 2003, students' avoidance of certain places in school differed according to the location and sector of their school: students ages 12-18 in urban schools and public schools were more likely than their counterparts in rural or suburban schools and private schools to report that they had avoided one or more places in school.
School crime may lead students to perceive specific areas at school as unsafe. In trying to ensure their own safety, they begin to avoid these places (Ingersoll and LeBoeuf 1997). Changes in the percentage of students who avoid certain areas in school may be a good barometer of students' perceptions of school safety. In the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, students ages 12-18 were asked whether they had avoided certain places in school-such as the entrance, any hallways or stairs, parts of the cafeteria, restrooms, and other places inside the school building-during the previous 6 months. This indicator provides estimates of those students who responded they avoided at least one of these places.
In 2003, 4 percent of students reported that they had avoided one or more places in school (table 13.1). Between 1995 and 1999, the percentage of students ages 12-18 who avoided one or more places in school decreased from 9 to 5 percent, but no difference was detected in the percentage of students who did so in 1999, 2001, and 2003 (between 4 and 5 percent in each year).
Students' reports of avoiding places varied according to their race/ethnicity. In 2003, 3 percent of White students reported avoiding certain areas, compared with 5 percent of Black students and 6 percent of Hispanic students (figure 13.1 and table 13.1). As in all previous survey years, in 2003, no difference was detected in the extent to which students avoided places according to their sex.
In the most recent survey year, students' avoidance of certain places in school differed according to their grade level and the location and sector of their school. Generally, grade level was inversely associated with students' likelihood of avoiding places in school. In 2003, 6 percent of 6th-graders compared with 1 percent of 12th-graders avoided certain places in school. In the same year, students in urban areas were the most likely to avoid specific places in school: 6 percent of urban students reported that they had done so, compared with 4 percent of suburban and 3 percent of rural students. In addition, public school students were more likely to avoid certain places in school than private school students (4 vs. 2 percent).
This indicator has been updated to include 2003 data.