Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

Table 5.  Number and percentage of public middle 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  1,270   8   2,800   #   9,380   60   27,090   3
                               
Enrollment size                               
Less than 300          1,040   37   2,080 ! 3
300–499  120 ! 4 ! 180 ! #   1,510   48   3,400   3
500–999  790   11   1,870   #   4,910   69   14,390   3
1,000 or more  280   12   640   #   1,910   80   7,220   2
                               
Urbanicity                               
City  460   13   930   #   2,590   72   10,230   4
Urban fringe  530   9   1,340   #   3,670   64   10,300   2
Town  150 ! 8 ! 250 ! #   1,010   51   2,190   2
Rural  120 ! 3 !   #   2,100   50   4,360   2
                               
Crime level where
students live2 
                             
High  250   21   580 ! 1 ! 880   74   3,740   5
Moderate  320   11   850   #   2,210   74   8,120   4
Low  430   5   710   #   4,430   51   9,990   2
Mixed  270   10   650 ! #   1,860   71   5,240   3
                               
Percent minority
enrollment3 
                             
Less than 5 percent          1,270   46   2,410   2
5 to less than 20 percent  230   6   370 ! #   2,150   53   4,790   2
20 to less than 50 percent  300   8   540   #   2,280   61   6,930   3
50 percent or more  670   14   1,740   #   3,410   74   12,140   3
                               
Percent of students
eligible for free or
reduced-price lunch 
                             
0–20 percent  180   5   280   #   1,810   48   3,770   1
21–50 percent  460   8   1,010   #   3,580   63   10,010   3
More than 50 percent  620   10   1,510   #   3,990   65   13,300   4
                               
Percent of students
below 15th percentile on
standardized tests 
                             
0–5 percent  320   7   560   #   2,470   53   6,160   2
6–15 percent  430   7   870   #   3,770   58   9,670   2
More than 15 percent  530   12   1,370   #   3,140   71   11,260   4
                               
Percent of students likely
to attend college 
                             
0–35 percent  460   11   920   #   2,770   64   9,100   4
36–60 percent  410   8   970   #   3,420   68   10,640   3
More than 60 percent  400   6   910   #   3,190   52   7,340   2
                               
Percent of students who
consider academic
achievement important 
                             
0–25 percent  150 ! 11 ! 320 ! #   1,050   74   3,440   4
26–50 percent  300   8   510   #   2,460   64   7,800   3
51–75 percent  460   10   1,060   #   2,780   59   7,980   3
More than 75 percent  360   6   900   #   3,090   55   7,870   2
                               
Percent male enrollment                               
0–44 percent          560   60   1,930 ! 4
45–55 percent  1,170   9   2,490   #   8,220   61   23,040   3
More than 55 percent          590   49   2,120   3
                               
Student-to-FTE ratio4                               
Less than 12 students  650   9   1,310   #   3,920   53   10,790   3
12–16 students  430   7   1,060   #   3,900   66   11,260   3
More than 16 students  180   8   430   #   1,560   71   5,040   3
                               
Number of classroom
changes5 
                             
0–3 changes          320   52   670   2
4–6 changes  640   11   1,630   #   3,740   64   11,220   3
More than 6 changes  580   6   1,040   #   5,320   58   15,200   3
                               
Regular use of law
enforcement6 
                             
Regular use  1,010   10   2,220   #   6,730   68   20,960   3
No regular use  260   5   570 ! #   2,650   47   6,130   2
                               
Number of serious
discipline problems7 
                             
No problems  280   4   730 ! #   3,490   49   8,900   2
1 problem  330   8   590   #   2,560   64   6,400   3
2 problems  210 ! 11   440 ! #   1,330   70   3,930   3
3 or more problems  460   18   1,040   1   2,010   79   7,850   4
                               
Transfers as a percentage
of enrollment8 
                             
Less than 6 percent  140 ! 5 ! 240 ! #   1,620   54   4,110   2
6 to less than 11 percent  130 ! 4 ! 280 ! #   1,670   56   3,780   2
11 to less than 21 percent  470   10   1,040   #   2,820   57   8,210   3
21 percent or more  520   11   1,230   #   3,270   70   11,000   4
                               
Prevalence of schoolwide
disruptions9 
                             
No disruptions  1,060   8   2,330   #   8,420   60   23,440   3
Any disruptions  200 ! 14 ! 470 ! #   960   67   3,640   4
                               
Percent of students
absent on a daily basis 
                             
0–2 percent  50 ! 6 !     510   58   1,110   2
3–5 percent  630   7   1,510   #   4,830   56   12,950   2
6–10 percent  510   10   1,000   #   3,420   65   10,050   3
More than 10 percent  80 ! 10 !     610   81   2,970   5
# 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. 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.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 2005–06 School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS), 2006.


Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education