All of us are concerned when children are victims of crime, especially violent crime, but schools bear a special responsibility for the safety of students when they are in the classroom, on school grounds, or on school-provided transportation. For this reason, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics have collaborated on collecting information about students' experience of crime and crime-related conditions at school.
This is the first report that analyzes the two (1989 and 1995) School Crime Supplements to the National Crime Victimization Survey together. It presents a national portrait of the extent to which students ages 12 to 19 experience violent crime or theft of their property at school, and their perceptions of the presence of guns, street gangs, and illegal drugs at their schools. It also highlights the important changes in these crime-related factors between 1989 and 1995.
Much more data were collected than are analyzed in this report, so we plan future reports that provide more in-depth analyses of the 1989 and 1995 data. In addition, we hope to produce more frequent updates of information from this survey of students and to present annually a variety of statistics about the safety of children in school.
The students in this study were interviewed in their homes or by telephone from their homes. These interviews were ably conducted by the Census Bureau, which also prepared the data for our analysis teams. The Bureau of Labor Statistics helped in the wording of the questionnaire items. We also want to thank all of the students who answered our questions and the adult members of their households who gave permission for this statistical data collection.
Pascal D. Forgione, Jr., Ph.D.
Commissioner of Education Statistics
Jan M. Chaiken, Ph.D.
Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics