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Table 5.  Number and percentage of public primary 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 1,000 students   Num-
of schools
  Per-
cent of schools
  Num-
ber of incidents
  Rate per 1,000 students
All public schools  2,400   5   5,960 ! #   16,010   33   30,220   1
                               
Enrollment size                               
Less than 300          2,410   19   3,980   2
300–499  760 ! 4 ! 760 ! #   5,690   33   9,490   1
500–999  1,350   8   2,970 ! #   7,320   42   15,340   1
1,000 or more          600   48   1,420   1
                               
Urbanicity                               
City  1,090   8   4,030 ! 1 ! 5,210   37   10,430   1
Urban fringe  920   5   1,480 ! #   5,410   31   10,320   1
Town          1,730   40   3,030   2
Rural  270 ! 2 ! 270 ! #   3,660   29   6,430   2
                               
Crime level where
students live2 
                             
High  720   17       1,940   45   5,290   2
Moderate  890   9   2,020 ! #   4,320   43   8,690   2
Low  470 ! 2 ! 550 ! #   7,790   27   13,010   1
Mixed  330 ! 6 !     1,960   36   3,230   1
                               
Percent minority
enrollment3 
                             
Less than 5 percent          2,260   26       1
5 to less than 20 percent          2,930   26   3,910   1
20 to less than 50 percent  220 ! 2 ! 260 ! #   4,010   38   5,490   1
50 percent or more  1,730   10   5,200 ! 1 ! 6,210   37   6,080   1
                          13,160    
Percent of students
eligible for free or
reduced-price lunch 
                             
0–20 percent          2,280   21   3,380   1
21–50 percent  400 ! 3 ! 520 ! #   4,580   32   8,010   1
More than 50 percent  1,790   8   5,150 ! #   9,150   39   18,830   2
                               
Percent of students
below 15th percentile on
standardized tests 
                             
0–5 percent  340 ! 2 ! 420 ! #   4,840   26   7,840   1
6–15 percent  690   4       6,240   33   11,570   1
More than 15 percent  1,370   12   3,470 ! 1 ! 4,930   44   10,820   2
                               
Percent of students likely
to attend college 
                             
0–35 percent  1,480   10   4,420 ! 1 ! 6,570   46   15,220   2
36–60 percent  540 ! 4 ! 1,070 ! #   4,840   33   8,430   1
More than 60 percent  380 ! 2 ! 470 ! #   4,600   24   6,570   1
                               
Percent of students who
consider academic
achievement important 
                             
0–25 percent          1,270   50   2,770   3
26–50 percent  770   9       3,220   38   7,070   2
51–75 percent  540 ! 4 ! 700 ! #   5,270   40   8,910   2
More than 75 percent  950   4   2,020 ! #   6,250   26   11,470   1
                               
Percent male enrollment                               
0–44 percent          1,080   35   1,850   1
45–55 percent  1,900   5   3,280   #   13,230   34   24,340   1
More than 55 percent  340 ! 5 !     1,700   27   4,030   2
                               
Student-to-FTE ratio4                               
Less than 12 students  1,010   4       7,220   29   13,080   1
12–16 students  640 ! 4 ! 800 ! #   5,460   35   10,060   1
More than 16 students  740   9   2,630 ! 1 ! 3,330   39   7,090   1
                               
Number of classroom
changes5 
                             
0–3 changes  920   4   2,990 ! #   6,280   31   11,350   1
4–6 changes  1,230   6   2,670 ! #   7,510   34   13,880   1
More than 6 changes  250 !   300 !   2,220   38   4,990   2
                               
Regular use of law
enforcement6 
                             
Regular use  1,040   8   3,970 ! 1 ! 5,540   44   11,960   2
No regular use  1,360   4   1,990   #   10,470   29   18,260   1
                               
Number of serious
discipline problems7 
                             
No problems  1,260   3   2,780 ! #   9,350   26   16,290   1
1 problem  690 ! 11   1,720 ! 1 ! 3,210   51   6,780   2
2 problems  270 ! 8 ! 410 ! #   2,080   61   4,360   3
3 or more problems          1,380   61   2,790   3
                               
Transfers as a percentage
of enrollment8 
                             
Less than 6 percent          1,590   21   2,200   1
6 to less than 11 percent  410 ! 4 !     3,730   35   7,020   1
11 to less than 21 percent  650 ! 5   920 ! #   4,110   31   6,830   1
21 percent or more  1,150   7   3,520 ! #   6,580   38   14,170   2
                               
Prevalence of schoolwide
disruptions9 
                             
No disruptions  2,240   5   5,200 ! #   15,280   33   28,340   1
Any disruptions          730 ! 38 ! 1,880 ! 2
                               
Percent of students
absent on a daily basis 
                             
0–2 percent          1,810   29   3,400   1
3–5 percent  1,090   4   1,300   #   9,060   33   16,500   1
6–10 percent  740 ! 6 ! 2,410 ! #   4,120   35   9,060   2
More than 10 percent  300 ! 9 ! 370 ! #   1,020   29   1,260   1
# 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 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."
3 Responding schools that did not have race/ethnicity on the sampling frame (2 percent of schools) are excluded from the base.
4 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.
5 Respondents were asked, "How many classroom changes do most students make in a typical day?" Responses exclude morning arrival and afternoon departure.
6 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?"
7 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.
8 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.
9 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. Responses were provided by the principal or the person most knowledgeable about crime and safety issues at the school. 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.
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