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Table 5.  Number and percentage of public high 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  1,680   14   2,770   #   7,610   65   27,580   2
                               
Enrollment size                               
Less than 300          800   37   1,810   4
300–499  130 ! 8 ! 130 ! #   800   50   1,720   3
500–999  370   13   540   #   1,790   62   5,040   2
1,000 or more  1,090   21   2,000   #   4,210   83   19,010   2
                               
Urbanicity                               
City  520   21   1,220   #   1,870   75   9,210   2
Urban fringe  540   14   810   #   2,630   69   9,010   2
Town  170   11   190   #   1,000   67   3,210   3
Rural  450   12   550   #   2,110   54   6,150   3
                               
Crime level where
students live2 
                             
High  230   36   520 ! 1   540   84   3,480   4
Moderate  470   21   780 ! #   1,590   70   6,680   3
Low  730   10   1,080   #   4,290   60   13,030   2
Mixed  250   15   380   #   1,190   72   4,390   2
                               
Percent minority
enrollment3 
                             
Less than 5 percent  200   8   250 ! #   1,310   52   3,050   2
5 to less than 20 percent  380   11   510   #   2,230   65   6,570   2
20 to less than 50 percent  350   13   670 ! #   1,800   69   6,960   2
50 percent or more  680   24   1,250   #   2,020   71   10,230   3
                               
Percent of students
eligible for free or
reduced-price lunch 
                             
0–20 percent  390   10   520   #   2,290   62   6,390   2
21–50 percent  760   16   1,300   #   3,170   66   12,240   2
More than 50 percent  530   17   950   #   2,150   68   8,950   3
                               
Percent of students
below 15th percentile on
standardized tests 
                             
0–5 percent  250   7   370   #   2,030   54   6,260   2
6–15 percent  710   14   960   #   3,210   65   10,710   2
More than 15 percent  720   24   1,430   #   2,370   79   10,600   3
                               
Percent of students likely
to attend college 
                             
0–35 percent  370   18   760 ! #   1,590   75   6,210   3
36–60 percent  620   18   1,000   #   2,370   67   9,050   3
More than 60 percent  680   11   1,000   #   3,650   60   12,320   2
                               
Percent of students who consider
academic achievement important 
                             
0–25 percent  210   22   310   #   690   72   2,810   3
26–50 percent  260   12   630 ! #   1,490   67   5,210   3
51–75 percent  620   16   980   #   2,680   70   10,900   3
More than 75 percent  580   12   840   #   2,750   59   8,660   2
                               
Percent male enrollment                               
0–44 percent  170   23   250 ! #   390   53   1,660   2
45–55 percent  1,360   14   2,170   #   6,670   67   23,590   2
More than 55 percent  150   15   340 ! #   550   54   2,320   3
                               
Student-to-FTE ratio4                               
Less than 12 students  460   9   610   #   2,570   51   7,420   2
12–16 students  690   17   1,110   #   2,970   73   11,410   2
More than 16 students  520   20   1,040   #   2,070   80   8,740   2
                               
Number of classroom
changes5 
                             
0–3 changes  60 ! 9 !     440   65   1,480   2
4–6 changes  980   17   1,630   #   3,990   69   15,910   2
More than 6 changes  640   12   960   #   3,190   61   10,180   2
                               
Regular use of law
enforcement6 
                             
Regular use  1,430   16   2,480   #   6,360   72   24,580   2
No regular use  250   9   280   #   1,250   43   2,990   2
                               
Number of serious
discipline problems7 
                             
No problems  860   12   1,350   #   3,950   57   11,780   2
1 problem  200   10   420   #   1,390   72   5,640   3
2 problems  250   19   450 ! #   950   74   4,660   3
3 or more problems  370   24   550   #   1,320   85   5,490   3
                               
Transfers as a percentage
of enrollment8 
                             
Less than 6 percent  210   8   570 ! #   1,240   49   3,640   2
6 to less than 11 percent  300   12   400   #   1,530   62   4,980   2
11 to less than 21 percent  510   17   800   #   2,180   71   7,960   2
21 percent or more  660   18   990   #   2,650   74   10,990   3
                               
Prevalence of schoolwide
disruptions9 
                             
No disruptions  1,230   12   2,060   #   6,320   62   22,210   2
Any disruptions  440   28   700   #   1,290   82   5,360   2
                               
Percent of students
absent on a daily basis 
                             
0–2 percent          260   59   550 ! 2
3–5 percent  540   12   760   #   2,580   56   7,960   2
6–10 percent  830   16   1,390   #   3,830   72   13,570   2
More than 10 percent  290   23   590   #   940   73   5,500   4
# 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. 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.
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