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Table 5.  Number and percentage of public schools reporting incidents of possession of a firearm or explosive device or possession of a knife or sharp object at school, the number of incidents, and the rate of incidents per 1,000 students, by selected school characteristics: School year 2003–04


School characteristic    Possession of a firearm
or explosive device1 
  Possession of a knife or sharp object
  Number of
schools
Percent of
schools
Number
of
incidents
Rate per
1,000
students
  Number of
schools
Percent of
schools
Number
of
incidents
Rate per
1,000
students
All public schools    4,875 6 7,478 0.2   12,830 16 30,193 0.6
                     
Level2                     
Primary    1,777 4 2,220 0.1   5,412 11 8,606 0.4
Middle    1,147 8 2,009 0.2   3,617 25 9,168 0.9
High school    1,503 14 2,728 0.2   3,179 29 10,697 0.9
Combined    449 7 521 0.2   621 10 1,723 0.6
                     
Enrollment size                     
Less than 300    530 3 530 0.1   1,805 10 2,440 0.6
300–499    762 3 937 0.1   2,422 10 3,729 0.4
500–999    2,080 7 2,843 0.1   5,224 18 10,907 0.6
1,000 or more    1,504 17 3,169 0.2   3,378 38 13,117 1.0
                     
Urbanicity                     
City    1,999 10 3,164 0.2   4,418 22 11,982 0.9
Urban fringe    1,491 6 2,550 0.1   4,178 16 10,331 0.6
Town    364 4 500 0.1   1,918 20 3,780 0.8
Rural    1,021 4 1,264 0.1   2,316 10 4,100 0.4
                     
Crime level where
students live3 
                   
High    852 15 1,379 0.4   1,648 28 5,228 1.5
Moderate    1,573 10 2,296 0.2   3,585 23 9,502 0.9
Low    1,785 4 2,505 0.1   4,978 10 9,978 0.4
Mixed    665 6 1,298 0.2   2,619 25 5,486 0.8
                     
Percent minority
enrollment4 
                   
Less than 5 percent    248 1 369 0.1   1,911 11 2,727 0.4
5 to 20 percent    930 5 1,441 0.1   2,313 12 4,760 0.4
20 to 50 percent    1,211 7 1,808 0.2   3,084 17 7,780 0.7
50 percent or more    2,433 10 3,759 0.2   5,355 22 14,422 0.9
                     
Percent of students
eligible for free or
reduced-price lunch 
                   
0–20 percent    744 4 1,227 0.1   2,195 12 5,341 0.4
21–50 percent    1,392 5 2,373 0.1   4,525 16 10,113 0.6
More than 50 percent    2,739 8 3,878 0.2   6,110 19 14,739 0.8
                     
Percent of students
below 15th percentile on
standardized tests 
                   
0–5 percent    579 2 861 0.1   2,463 11 5,054 0.4
6–15 percent    2,173 6 3,112 0.2   4,871 14 10,783 0.5
More than 15 percent    2,124 9 3,506 0.3   5,496 24 14,356 1.0
                     
Percent of students likely
to attend college 
                   
0–35 percent    2,121 8 3,259 0.2   5,367 21 12,564 0.9
36–60 percent    1,512 7 2,225 0.2   3,721 17 8,137 0.6
More than 60 percent    1,243 4 1,994 0.1   3,741 12 9,493 0.5
                     
Percent of students who
consider academic
achievement important 
                   
0–25 percent    784 10 1,275 0.3   1,637 20 3,826 1.0
26–50 percent    1,263 7 1,846 0.2   3,481 20 8,601 0.9
51–75 percent    1,407 6 2,085 0.1   3,781 16 9,339 0.7
More than 75 percent    1,421 5 2,272 0.1   3,931 12 8,428 0.4
                     
Percent male enrollment                     
0–44 percent    447 8 786 0.3   1,051 19 2,348 0.9
45–55 percent    3,994 6 6,032 0.2   10,664 16 24,526 0.6
More than 55 percent    434 5 661 0.2   1,114 12 3,320 0.8
                     
Student-to-teacher ratio5                     
Less than 12 students    1,325 4 1,730 0.1   5,121 14 10,439 0.7
12–16 students    2,093 7 3,280 0.2   5,116 17 12,022 0.6
More than 16 students    1,458 10 2,468 0.2   2,592 18 7,732 0.6
                     
Number of classroom
changes6 
                   
0–3 changes    974 5 1,161 0.1   2,305 11 3,735 0.4
4–6 changes    2,264 6 3,588 0.2   6,134 16 15,105 0.7
More than 6 changes    1,637 7 2,729 0.2   4,390 20 11,354 0.8
                     
Regular use of law
enforcement7 
                   
Regular use    3,311 9 5,509 0.2   8,499 24 23,199 0.8
No regular use    1,564 4 1,970 0.1   4,331 10 6,995 0.4
                     
Number of serious
discipline problems8 
                   
No problems    1,972 4 3,079 0.1   5,684 11 11,267 0.4
1 problem    923 6 1,301 0.1   3,027 21 6,179 0.7
2 problems    874 11 1,285 0.3   1,520 20 4,618 0.9
3 or more problems    1,107 17 1,813 0.4   2,599 40 8,130 1.6
                     
Transfers as a percentage
of enrollment9 
                   
0 to 6 percent    620 4 1,144 0.1   1,837 12 4,516 0.5
6 to 11 percent    780 4 1,142 0.1   2,037 12 4,521 0.5
11 to 21 percent    1,596 7 2,478 0.2   3,857 16 8,761 0.6
21 percent or more    1,879 8 2,714 0.2   5,099 22 12,395 0.9
                     
Prevalence of schoolwide
disruptions10 
                   
No disruptions    4,090 5 6,356 0.2   11,083 15 23,942 0.6
Any disruptions    786 15 1,123 0.3   1,746 34 6,251 1.4
                     
Percent of students
absent on a daily basis 
                   
0–2 percent    140 2 274 0.1   701 9 1,143 0.3
3–5 percent    2,247 5 3,025 0.1   5,957 13 11,558 0.5
6–10 percent    2,097 9 3,535 0.2   5,319 23 14,384 0.9
More than 10 percent    392 9 645 0.2   852 20 3,109 1.0
1 Firearm or explosive device was defined as, "any weapon that is designed to (or may readily be converted to) expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. This includes guns, bombs, grenades, mines, rockets, missiles, pipe bombs, or similar devices designed to explode and capable of causing bodily harm or property damage."
2 Primary schools are defined as schools in which the lowest grade is not higher than grade 3 and the highest grade is not higher than grade 8. Middle schools are defined as schools in which the lowest grade is not lower than grade 4 and the highest grade is not higher than grade 9. High schools are defined as schools in which the lowest grade is not lower than grade 9 and the highest grade is not higher than grade 12. Combined schools include all other combinations of grades, including K–12 schools.
3 Respondents were asked, "How would you describe the crime level in the area(s) in which your students live?" Response options included "high level of crime," "moderate level of crime," "low level of crime," and "students come from areas with very different levels of crime."
4 These estimates exclude data from Tennessee because schools in this state did not report estimates of student race.
5 Student-to-teacher ratio was calculated by dividing the total number of students enrolled in the school by the total number of full-time-equivalent teachers and aides. The total number of full-time-equivalent teachers and aides is a combination of the full-time and part-time teachers and aides, including special education teachers and aides, with an adjustment to compensate for the part-time status.
6 Respondents were asked, "How many classroom changes do most students make in a typical day?" Responses exclude morning arrival and afternoon departure.
7 Respondents were asked, "During the 2003–2004 school year, did you have any sworn law enforcement officers, security guards, or security personnel present at your school on a regular basis?"
8 Serious discipline problems include student racial tensions, student bullying, student sexual harassment of other students, student verbal abuse of teachers, widespread disorder in classrooms, student acts of disrespect for teachers, gang activities, and cult or extremist group activities. If a respondent reported that any of these problems occurred daily or weekly in their school, each was counted once in the total number of serious discipline problems.
9 Transfers as a percentage of enrollment combines the number of students who were transferred to a school and the number of students who were transferred from a school divided by the total number of students enrolled in the school.
10 Schoolwide disruptions include actions that disrupted school activities such as death threats, bomb threats, and chemical, biological, or radiological threats. Respondents were instructed to exclude all fire alarms, including false alarms.
NOTE: "At school" was defined for respondents to include activities that happen in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses, and at places that hold school-sponsored events or activities. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Reponses were provided by the principal or the person most knowledgeable about crime and safety issues at the school.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS), 2004.                    


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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education