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School crime

Question:
Do you have any statistics on school crime?

Response:

Crime and Safety Surveys Program collects and reports data on crime, violence, and safety in U.S. elementary and secondary schools. The following statistics are from the Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 report. The report is organized into sections that delineate specific concerns to readers, starting with a description of the most serious violent crimes. The sections cover violent deaths; nonfatal student and teacher victimization; school environment; fights, weapons, and illegal substances; fear and avoidance; discipline, safety, and security measures; and campus safety and security.

Violent Deaths at School

From July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, there were a total of 47 student, staff, and other nonstudent school-associated violent deaths in the United States, which included 28 homicides, 17 suicides, and 2 legal intervention deaths.1

Nonfatal Student Victimization–Student Reports

Between 1992 and 2016, total victimization rates for students ages 12–18 declined both at school and away from school. Specific crime types—thefts, violent victimizations, and serious violent victimizations—all declined between 1992 and 2016, both at and away from school.

The rate of serious violent victimization2 against students ages 12–18 was lower at school than away from school in most survey years between 1992 and 2008 and in 2016. The 2016 serious violent victimization rates were 3 per 1,000 students at school and 5 per 1,000 students away from school. Between 2009 and 2015, the rate at school was not measurably different from the rate away from school.

Violence and Crime at School–Principal Reports

During the 2015–16 school year, 79 percent of public schools recorded that one or more incidents of violence, theft, or other crimes had taken place, amounting to 1.4 million crimes. This translates to a rate of 28 crimes per 1,000 students enrolled in 2015–16. During the same school year, 47 percent of schools reported one or more of the specified crimes to the police, amounting to 449,000 crimes, or 9 crimes per 1,000 students enrolled.

For many types of crime, the percentages of public schools recording incidents of crime or reporting incidents of crime to the police were lower in 2015–16 than in 2009–10. For instance, 65 percent of public schools recorded incidents of physical attack or fight without a weapon in 2015–16 compared to 71 percent in 2009–10, and 25 percent reported such incidents to the police in 2015–16 compared with 34 percent in 2009–10.

In 2015–16, the percentage of public schools that recorded incidents of violent crime, serious violent crime, theft, and other incidents varied by school characteristics. For example, 57 percent of primary schools recorded violent incidents compared with 88 percent of middle schools and 90 percent of high schools. Similarly, a lower percentage of primary schools recorded serious violent incidents (9 percent) than middle and high schools (23 and 30 percent, respectively), a lower percentage of primary schools recorded incidents of theft (23 percent) than middle and high schools (55 and 76 percent, respectively), and a lower percentage of primary schools recorded other incidents (43 percent) than middle and high schools (77 and 88 percent, respectively).

Teachers Threatened with Injury–Teacher Reports

During the 2015–16 school year, 10 percent of public school teachers reported being threatened with injury by a student from their school. This percentage was lower than in 1993–94 (13 percent), but higher than in 2003–04 (7 percent) and 2007–08 (8 percent). There was no measurable difference between the percentages of public school teachers who reported being threatened with injury by a student in 2011–12 and 2015–16. The percentage of public school teachers reporting that they had been physically attacked by a student from their school in 2015–16 (6 percent) was higher than in all previous survey years (around 4 percent in each survey year) except in 2011–12, when the percentage was not measurably different from that in 2015–16.

Perceptions of Personal Safety at School and Away From School–Student Reports

In 2015, about 3 percent of students ages 12–18 reported that they were afraid of attack or harm at school during the school year. A lower percentage of students (2 percent) reported that they were afraid of attack or harm away from school during the school year.

Students' Reports of Illegal Drug Availability on School Property

The percentage of students in grades 9–12 who reported that illegal drugs were made available to them on school property decreased from 32 percent in 1995 to 22 percent in 2015. However, no measurable differences were found between the percentages in 1993 (the first year of data collection) and 2015 and between the percentages in 2013 and 2015.

1Data from 1999–2000 onward are subject to change until law enforcement reports have been obtained and interviews with school and law enforcement officials have been completed. The details learned during the interviews can occasionally change the classification of a case.
2"Serious violent victimization" includes the crimes of rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036).


Percentage of public schools recording incidents of crime at school and reporting these incidents to the police, and the rate of crimes per 1,000 students, by type of crime: School year 201516

The data in this figure is described in the surrounding text.

1 "Violent incidents" include "serious violent" incidents (see footnote 2) as well as physical attack or fight without a weapon and threat of physical attack without a weapon.
2 "Serious violent" incidents include rape, sexual assault other than rape, physical attack or fight with a weapon, threat of physical attack with a weapon, and robbery with or without a weapon.
3 Theft or larceny (taking things worth over $10 without personal confrontation) was defined for respondents as "the unlawful taking of another person's property without personal confrontation, threat, violence, or bodily harm." This includes pocket picking, stealing a purse or backpack (if left unattended or no force was used to take it from owner), theft from a building, theft from a motor vehicle or motor vehicle parts or accessories, theft of a bicycle, theft from a vending machine, and all other types of thefts.
4"Other incidents" include possession of a firearm or explosive device; possession of a knife or sharp object; distribution, possession, or use of illegal drugs or alcohol; inappropriate distribution, possession, or use of prescription drugs; and vandalism.
NOTE: Responses were provided by the principal or the person most knowledgeable about crime and safety issues at the school. "At school" was defined to include activities that happen in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses, and at places that hold school-sponsored events or activities. Respondents were instructed to include incidents that occurred before, during, and after normal school hours or when school activities or events were in session. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding and because schools that recorded or reported more than one type of crime incident were counted only once in the total percentage of schools recording or reporting incidents.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036), Figure 6.1.

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