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Indicators

School Crime and Safety
(Last Updated: May 2019)

Between 2001 and 2017, the percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months decreased overall (from 6 to 2 percent), as did the percentages of students who reported theft (from 4 to 1 percent) and violent victimization (from 2 to 1 percent).

Responses to questions on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and the School Crime Supplement (SCS) provide information on the prevalence of criminal victimization at school for students ages 12–18. In 2017, approximately 2 percent of students ages 12–18 reported being victimized at school1 during the previous 6 months. About 1 percent of students reported theft,2 1 percent reported violent victimization, and less than one-half of 1 percent reported serious violent victimization. Serious violent victimization includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault; violent victimization includes serious violent victimization as well as simple assault.


 Figure 1. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported criminal victimization at school during the previous 6 months, by type of victimization: Selected years, 2001 through 2017

Figure  1. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported criminal victimization at  school during the previous 6 months, by type of victimization: Selected years,  2001 through 2017


NOTE: “Total victimization” includes theft and violent victimization. “Theft” includes attempted and completed purse-snatching, completed pickpocketing, and all attempted and completed thefts, with the exception of motor vehicle thefts. Theft does not include robbery, which involves the threat or use of force and is classified as a violent crime. “Violent victimization” includes the serious violent crimes as well as simple assault. “Serious violent victimization” includes the crimes of rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. “At school” includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and going to and from school.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 2001 through 2017. See Digest of Education Statistics 2018, table 228.30.


Between 2001 and 2017, the percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months decreased overall (from 6 to 2 percent), as did the percentages of students who reported theft (from 4 to 1 percent) and violent victimization (from 2 to 1 percent). Although there was no clear pattern of decline in the percentage of students who reported serious violent victimization, the percentage in 2017 was lower than the percentage in 2001 (0.2 vs. 0.4 percent).

The percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months decreased between 2001 and 2017 for both male students (from 6 to 3 percent) and female students (from 5 to 2 percent), as well as for White students (from 6 to 2 percent), Black students (from 6 to 3 percent), and Hispanic students (from 5 to 2 percent).


Figure 2. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being bullied at school during the school year: Selected years, 2005 through 2017

Figure 2.  Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being bullied at school during  the school year: Selected years, 2005 through 2017


NOTE: Prior data are excluded from the time series due to a significant redesign of the bullying items in 2005. “At school” includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and going to and from school.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 2005 through 2017. See Digest of Education Statistics 2018, table 230.40.


The SCS also asked students ages 12–18 if they had been bullied at school during the school year. The percentage of students who reported being bullied at school during the school year decreased from 29 percent in 2005 to 20 percent in 2017. However, there was no measurable difference between the percentages in 2015 and 2017. A declining trend between 2005 and 2017 in the percentage of students who reported being bullied at school was observed for most of the student and school subpopulations examined. For example, the percentage of male students who reported being bullied at school decreased from 27 percent in 2005 to 17 percent in 2017, and the percentage of female students who reported being bullied decreased from 30 percent in 2005 to 24 percent in 2017. During the same period, the percentage of students who reported being bullied at school decreased for White students (from 30 to 23 percent), Black students (from 29 to 23 percent), Hispanic students (from 22 to 16 percent), Asian students (from 21 to 7 percent), and students of Two or more races (from 35 to 23 percent). The percentage of students who reported being bullied at school decreased between 2005 and 2017 in urban areas (from 26 to 18 percent) and suburban areas (from 29 to 20 percent), while the percentage in 2017 was not measurably different from the percentage in 2005 for students in rural areas (27 vs. 30 percent). The percentage of public school students who reported being bullied at school decreased from 29 to 21 percent between 2005 and 2017, and the percentage for private school students was higher in 2005 than in 2017 (23 vs. 16 percent). Similar to the findings for students overall, there were no measurable differences between the percentages in 2015 and 2017 for any of the student and school characteristics mentioned above, except for students in rural areas, who reported a higher percentage of being bullied at school in 2017 than in 2015 (27 vs. 18 percent).

In 2017, a higher percentage of female students than of male students ages 12–18 reported being bullied at school during the school year (24 vs. 17 percent). Higher percentages of students of Two or more races, Black students, and White students (23 percent each) than of Hispanic students (16 percent) and Asian students (7 percent) reported being bullied at school. In addition, higher percentages of American Indian/Alaska Native students (27 percent) and Hispanic students than of Asian students reported being bullied at school. Also in 2017, a higher percentage of students in rural areas (27 percent) than of students in suburban areas (20 percent) and urban areas (18 percent) reported being bullied at school during the school year. No measurable difference was observed in the percentages of public and private school students who reported being bullied at school in 2017.


Figure 3. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being bullied at school during the school year, by type of bullying and sex: 2017

Figure 3. Percentage of students ages 12–18  who reported being bullied at school during the school year, by type of  bullying and sex: 2017


NOTE: “At school” includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and going to and from school. Students who reported experiencing more than one type of bullying at school were counted only once in the total for students bullied at school. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded estimates.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 2017. See Digest of Education Statistics 2018, table 230.45.


The SCS also collected information about the specific bullying activities experienced by students. In 2017, of students ages 12–18, about 13 percent reported being the subject of rumors at school during the school year; 13 percent reported being made fun of, called names, or insulted; 5 percent reported being pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; and 5 percent reported being excluded from activities on purpose. Additionally, 4 percent of students reported being threatened with harm, 2 percent reported that others tried to make them do things they did not want to do, and 1 percent reported that their property was destroyed by others on purpose. A higher percentage of female students than of male students reported being the subject of rumors (18 vs. 9 percent); being made fun of, called names, or insulted (16 vs. 10 percent); and being excluded from activities on purpose (7 vs. 3 percent). In contrast, a higher percentage of male students than of female students reported being pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on (6 vs. 4 percent).


1 “At school” includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and going to and from school.
2 “Theft” includes attempted and completed purse-snatching, completed pickpocketing, and all attempted and completed thefts, with the exception of motor vehicle thefts. Theft does not include robbery, which involves the threat or use of force and is classified as a violent crime.


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