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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 2005–06

  Possession of a firearm or explosive device1    Possession of a knife or sharp object 
School characteristic  Num-
ber of schools
  Per-
cent of schools
  Num-
ber of incidents
  Rate per 1000 students   Num-
of schools
  Per-
cent of schools
  Num-
ber of incidents
  Rate per 1000 students
All public schools  5,980   7   12,320   #   35,600   43   90,000   2
                               
Level2                               
Primary  2,400   5   5,960 ! #   16,010   33   30,220   1
Middle  1,270   8   2,800   #   9,380   60   27,090   3
High school  1,680   14   2,770   #   7,610   65   27,580   2
Combined  640 ! 9 ! 800   #   2,610   35   5,120   2
                               
Enrollment size                               
Less than 300  470 ! 2 !     5,170   25   9,390   2
300–499  1,080   5   1,140   #   8,720   37   15,760   2
500–999  2,750   9   5,750   #   14,640   50   36,010   2
1,000 or more  1,680   18   3,670   #   7,070   76   28,840   2
                               
Urbanicity                               
City  2,150   10   6,300   #   9,950   47   30,790   2
Urban fringe  2,110   8   3,800   #   12,130   44   30,590   2
Town  470   6   680   #   3,910   48   8,770   2
Rural  1,250   5   1,530   #   9,610   36   19,850   2
                               
Crime level where
    students live3
                             
High  1,250   19   2,940 ! 1 ! 3,440   53   12,680   3
Moderate  1,730   11   3,720   #   8,240   52   23,710   2
Low  1,960   4   2,800   #   18,680   37   40,000   1
Mixed  1,040   10   2,860 ! #   5,240   50   13,610   2
                               
Percent minority
    enrollment4
                             
Less than 5 percent  530   3   630   #   5,680   34   10,750   2
5 to 20 percent  930   5   1,270   #   7,980   39   18,050   2
20 to 50 percent  1,040   6   1,640   #   8,720   47   21,660   2
50 percent or more  3,260   13   8,460   #   11,990   47   36,270   2
                               
Percent of students
    eligible for free
    or reduced-price
    lunch
                             
0–20 percent  880   5   1,230   #   6,780   35   14,500   1
21–50 percent  1,740   6   2,980   #   12,350   45   32,050   2
More than 50 percent  3,360   9   8,120   #   16,470   45   43,450   2
                               
Percent of students
    below 15th per-
    centile on stan-
    dardized tests
                             
0–5 percent  1,090   4   1,570   #   10,130   34   21,570   1
6–15 percent  2,120   6   4,270 ! #   14,340   44   34,270   2
More than 15 percent  2,780   13   6,480   #   11,140   53   34,160   3
                               
Percent of students
    likely to attend
    college
                             
0–35 percent  2,600   11   6,440   1   11,750   52   32,410   3
36–60 percent  1,650   7   3,160   #   11,220   45   29,030   2
More than 60 percent  1,730   5   2,710   #   12,640   35   28,570   1
                               
Percent of students
    who consider
    academic achieve-
    ment important
                             
0–25 percent  660   11   930   #   3,230   56   9,840   3
26–50 percent  1,470   9   4,410 ! 1 ! 7,780   49   21,260   3
51–75 percent  1,890   8   3,090   #   11,710   48   29,810   2
More than 75 percent  1,970   5   3,890   #   12,890   35   29,100   1
                               
Percent male enrollment                               
0–44 percent  390   7   500   #   2,240   40   5,800   2
45–55 percent  4,940   7   8,610   #   30,350   44   75,210   2
More than 55 percent  650   7     1 ! 3,010   32   8,990   2
                               
Student-to-FTE ratio5                              
Less than 12 students  2,470   6   4,890 ! #   15,320   36   34,010   2
12–16 students  1,980   7   3,250   #   12,980   48   34,110   2
More than 16 students  1,530   11   4,180   #   7,300   52   21,890   2
                               
Number of class-
    room changes6
                             
0–3 changes  1,070   5   3,350 ! #   7,230   32   13,880   1
4–6 changes  3,180   9   6,330   #   16,330   45   43,230   2
More than 6 changes  1,740   7   2,650   #   12,050   48   32,890   2
                               
Regular use of law
    enforcement7
                             
Regular use  4,000   12   9,320   #   20,220   58   61,180   2
No regular use  1,980   4   3,000   #   15,390   32   28,820   1
                               
Number of serious
    discipline pro-
    blems8
                             
No problems  2,740   5   5,290   #   18,620   33   40,120   1
1 problem  1,250   9   2,760 ! #   7,420   57   19,280   2
2 problems  870   13   1,450   #   4,690   67   14,080   3
3 or more problems  1,120   17   2,820 ! 1 ! 4,870   72   16,520   3
                               
Transfers as a per-
    centage of enroll-
    ment9
                             
0 to 6 percent  690   4   1,230   #   5,170   33   11,030   1
6 to 11 percent  1,040   6   2,240 ! #   7,640   43   16,770   2
11 to 21 percent  1,680   8   2,810   #   9,480   42   24,320   2
21 percent or more  2,580   9   6,050   #   13,310   49   37,880   2
                               
Prevalence of school-
    wide disruptions10
                             
No disruptions  840   15   1,970 ! #   3,170   58   11,430   3
Any disruptions  5,150   7   10,360   #   32,440   42   78,570   2
                               
Percent of students
    absent on a
    daily basis
                             
0–2 percent          2,930   34   5,620   1
3–5 percent  2,440   6   3,830   #   17,890   41   39,770   2
6–10 percent  2,330   9   5,130   #   11,860   48   33,710   2
More than 10 percent  850   13   1,300   #   2,930   45   10,900   3
# Rounds to zero.
! Interpret data with caution. The standard error for this estimate is from 30 percent to 50 percent of the estimate’s value.
‡ Reporting standards not met. The standard error for this estimate is equal to 50 percent or more of the estimate's value.
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 Responding schools that did not have race/ethnicity on the sampling frame (2 percent of schools) are excluded from the base.
5 Student-to-FTE 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 2005–2006 school year, did you have any sworn law enforcement officers, security guards, or security personnel present at your school at least once a week?"
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 happening 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 (NCES), 2005–06 School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS), 2006.


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