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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2001

Chat HostChat Host Hello, and welcome to today's StatChat. I'm sure that you have many questions regarding the recent release of the Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2001, so let's get right to them...

Gery from Lansing, Michigan asked:
I have 2 questions: 1. How was the data collected and who reported? 2. Is there state specific data breakouts?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: The 19 indicators are drawn from a number of different datasets. Some are surveys of students, some are surveys of schools, and some are surveys of teachers. All of the datasets are Federal programs and were selected because they are the most up to date and ongoing data collections to enable presentation of trend estimates. You can read about the different datasets in Appendix B (pdf file) of the Indicators report at:
Only one of the datasets, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, can produce State level estimates, for 22 States and 14 local areas (in 1999). You can find YRBS State level estimates at the following website:

Martine from Rockville, MD asked:
Now that the report is in its fourth year, have you seen any notable changes in the utilization of the data?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: The reports have become important reference sources for information about crime and safety in schools. They are among the most frequently downloaded reports from our websites. Having up-to-date data is important to policymakers and the public.

Charol from Huntington, New York asked:
What do we know about adult to student sexual crimes in schools? Teacher sexual abuse? Also peer sexual crimes?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: This report covers student reports of victimization, incluing violent crime and crimes of theft. Included in violent crime are rapes and sexual assaults. However, we do not have information about whether the perpetrator was a teacher. While some of the datasets can be used to produce data on victim/offender relationship this was not part of our analysis. We do know that most crimes against youth are committed by other young people. For information about this you can visit the Bureau of Justice Statistics website:

Ronnie from Comanche TX asked:
How is the student atmosphere at Columbine High School in Colorado?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: We do not have any information on this particular school or any other individual school.

Charles from Portland, Oregon asked:
Given the amount of data from different sources that you are collecting have you noticed any disturbing trends that the public needs to be made aware of?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: The recent trends are quite favorable. Victimization of students in school has decreased through the 1990s. Many other indicators also show improvement.

Frank from Omaha, Nebraska asked:
Have you collected any data from private schools? If not why not? It would be nice to know the differences between public and private schools.
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: The National Crime Victimization Survey, because it finds students in their homes, covers both public and private school students. The same holds for the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey. Data for some of the indicators are shown separately for public and private school students. The survey of principals covers public schools only.

Janet from Albany, NY asked:
Is there information you can report on hate related crimes against kids?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: In Indicator 14, we present data on reports of students being called hate-related words and seeing hate-related graffiti. See:
The Bureau of Justice Statistics is working to develop questions about hate-related crimes against children and adults as part of the National Crime Victimization Survey.

Ellen from Austin, Texas asked:
Is there any specific funding that schools can apply for that can be used to help combat school viloence and to help the school environment?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: We suggest that you contact the Department of Education's Safe and Drug Free Schools Office for that information:
The Department of Education's main website would also be a good resource:

Trent from Springfield, Mass. asked:
Have you noticed any relationship between school uniform policy and the incidence of school crime and violence?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: According to our report, only about 3% of all public schools required students to wear uniforms in 1996-97. See Appendix A (pdf file) of our report:
We do not have data to test the relationship between school uniform requirements and the incidence of school crime and violence.

Tim from South Bend, Indiana asked:
According to the data you have collected are drugs or alcohol the bigger problem among school children today?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: Indicators 17 and 18 in our report cover alcohol and marijuana use, respectively. We did not do the statistical tests to compare use of the two. However, use on school property appears to be similar. This would have to be tested. See:

Wendy from Austin, TX asked:
What do you think are the significant findings of the study?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: We have highlighted the most significant findings in our Executive Summary. See:
Among the most significant findings are those showing improvements in school safety. Crime rates are down. There were decreases in the percentage of students reporting being in a fight on school property in the previous 12 months and in carrying a weapon on school property during the previous 30 days.

Martine from Rockville, MD asked:
How close does the data in the report come to being able to track any changes that might be resulting from recent increased attention to the problem of bullying?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: We cannot attribute any changes that we detect to any particular policy or program. Our data are cross-sectional in nature and cannot be used to determine causality.

Florence from Birmingham, Alabama asked:
Are there any best practices that schools can follow to reduce the amount of crime and violence in their school?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: The Departments of Education and Justice have produced two very good reports--Early Warning Timely Response, A Guide to Safe Schools and Safeguarding our Children: An Action Guide. Both are valuable resources for schools, communities, parents, and students. See:

Robin from Dover, Delaware asked:
With a reported decline in overall victimization & students reporting they feel safer or safe, are they then asked a follow-up question as to why? For ex: prevention programs from outside agencies, curriculum in bullyproofing schools, effective interaction skills...etc.
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: That's a good question. Right now the surveys do not contain the question you suggest. It would be a good question to consider as we develop future surveys.

Nicolás from Buenos Aires, Argentina asked:
How do you expect policymakers to take notice of yor report? Is there any specific changes you recommend in the education system in order to improve security at school?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: Policymakers are always looking for good data. The reports are widely circulated. They are sent to officials in the Executive and Legislative branches at all levels of government, National, State and local. It is not the purpose of this report (or of our Statistical agencies) to recommend specific policies. The strength of these reports is that they provide accurate, up-to-date data that the public and policymakers can use to evaluate the need for programs and to develop effective programs when necessary.

Kathy from New York, NY asked:
Do you think the data gathered supports the need for stricter gun control laws?
Kathryn Chandler & Michael Rand: This will be the last question that we have time for. As we discussed in the previous question, our report does not provide policy guidance. It does, however, provide data that people can use to document the extent to which crime is a problem in our schools.

Thanks for all of your excellent questions. Unfortunately, we could not get to all of them, but please feel free to contact either of us if you need any assistance. I hope that you found this session to be helpful and the report to be interesting.

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