- Violent Deaths
- Nonfatal Student and Teacher Victimization
- School Environment
- Violent and Other Criminal Incidents at Public Schools, and Those Reported to the Police
- Discipline Problems Reported by Public Schools
- Students’ Reports of Gangs at School
- Students’ Reports of Being Called Hate-Related Words and Seeing Hate-Related Grafitti
- Bullying at School and Electronic Bullying
- Teachers’ Reports on School Conditions
- Fights, Weapons, and Illegal Substances
- Fear and Avoidance
- Discipline, Safety, and Security Measures
- Postsecondary Campus Safety and Security
- Appendix A: Technical Notes
- Appendix B: Glossary of Terms
Active shooter An individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.
Aggravated assault Attack or attempted attack with a weapon, regardless of whether or not an injury occurs, and attack without a weapon when serious injury results.
At school In the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and going to or from school. The National Crime Victimization Survey further specifies that on school property includes on school parking area, play area, school bus, etc. The Fast Response Survey System and the School Survey on Crime and Safety further specify that at school includes at places that held school-sponsored events or activities. Additionally, respondents were instructed to report on activities that occurred during normal school hours or when school activities/events were in session, unless otherwise specified. The School-Associated Violent Death Surveillance System specifies that at school also includes attending or traveling to or from a school-sponsored event.
Bullied In the School Crime Supplement, students were asked if any student had bullied them at school in one or more ways during the school year. Specifically, students were asked if another student had made fun of them, called them names, or insulted them; spread rumors about them; threatened them with harm; pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on them; tried to make them to do something they did not want to do; excluded them from activities on purpose; or destroyed their property on purpose.
City Includes all territory inside a Census-defined urbanized area and inside a principal city. For more information see: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/edge/Geographic/LocaleBoundaries.
Combined schools Schools that include all combinations of grades, including K–12 schools, other than primary, middle, and high schools (see definitions for these school levels later in this section).
Crime Any violation of a statute or regulation or any act that the government has determined is injurious to the public, including felonies and misdemeanors. Such violation may or may not involve violence, and it may affect individuals or property.
Cult or extremist group A group that espouses radical beliefs and practices, which may include a religious component, that are widely seen as threatening the basic values and cultural norms of society at large.
Cyberbullied Students were asked if another student did one or more of the following behaviors anywhere that made them feel bad or were hurtful. Specifically, students were asked about bullying by a peer that occurred anywhere via electronic means, including the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging, online gaming, and online communities.
Elementary school A school in which the lowest grade is less than or equal to grade 6 and the highest grade is less than or equal to grade 8.
Elementary teachers See instructional level.
Firearm/explosive device 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, and similar devices designed to explode and capable of causing bodily harm or property damage.
Gang (School Crime Supplement) Street gangs, fighting gangs, crews, or something else. Gangs may use common names, signs, symbols, or colors. All gangs, whether or not they are involved in violent or illegal activity, are included.
Gang (School Survey on Crime and Safety) An ongoing loosely organized association of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, that has a common name, signs, symbols, or colors, whose members engage, either individually or collectively, in violent or other forms of illegal behavior.
Hate crime A criminal offense or threat against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.
Hate-related graffiti Hate-related words or symbols written in school classrooms, school bathrooms, school hallways, or on the outside of the school building.
Hate-related words Students were asked if anyone called them an insulting or bad name at school having to do with their race, religion, ethnic background or national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.
High school A school in which the lowest grade is not lower than grade 9 and the highest grade is not higher than grade 12.
Homicide An act involving a killing of one person by another resulting from interpersonal violence.
Incident A specific criminal act or offense involving one or more victims and one or more offenders.
Instructional level Teachers are divided into elementary or secondary based on a combination of the grades taught, main teaching assignment, and the structure of their classes. Those with only ungraded classes become elementary level teachers if their main assignment is Early childhood/preK or Elementary, or they teach either special education in a self-contained classroom or an elementary enrichment class. All other teachers with ungraded classes are classified as secondary level. Among teachers with regularly graded classes, elementary level teachers generally teach any of grades preK–5; report a main assignment in an Early childhood/preK, Elementary, Self-contained special education, or Elementary enrichment program; or report that the majority of grades taught are K–6. In general, secondary level teachers instruct any of grades 7–12 but usually no grade lower than 5th. They also teach more of grades 7–12 than lower level grades.
Legal intervention death A death caused by a law enforcement agent in the course of arresting or attempting to arrest a lawbreaker, suppressing a disturbance, maintaining order, or engaging in another legal action.
Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) Geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use by federal statistical agencies in collecting, tabulating, and publishing federal statistics.
Middle school A school in which the lowest grade is not lower than grade 4 and the highest grade is not higher than grade 9.
Multistage sampling A survey sampling technique in which there is more than one wave of sampling. That is, one sample of units is drawn, and then another sample is drawn within that sample. For example, at the first stage, a number of Census blocks may be sampled out of all the Census blocks in the United States. At the second stage, households are sampled within the previously sampled Census blocks.
On school property On school property is included in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey question wording, but was not defined for respondents.
Physical attack or fight An actual and intentional touching or striking of another person against his or her will, or the intentional causing of bodily harm to an individual.
Prevalence The percentage of the population directly affected by crime in a given period. This rate is based upon specific information elicited directly from the respondent regarding crimes committed against his or her person, against his or her property, or against an individual bearing a unique relationship to him or her. It is not based upon perceptions and beliefs about, or reactions to, criminal acts.
Primary school A school in which the lowest grade is not higher than grade 3 and the highest grade is not higher than grade 8.
Rape (Fast Response Survey System and School Survey on Crime and Safety) Forced sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, or oral penetration). Includes penetration from a foreign object.
Rape (National Crime Victimization Survey) Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender(s). Includes attempts and verbal threats of rape. This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object, such as a bottle.
Robbery (Fast Response Survey System and School Survey on Crime and Safety) The taking or attempting to take anything of value that is owned by another person or organization, under confrontational circumstances by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear. A key difference between robbery and theft/larceny is that a threat or battery is involved in robbery.
Robbery (National Crime Victimization Survey) Completed or attempted theft, directly from a person, of property or cash by force or threat of force, with or without a weapon, and with or without injury.
Rural (Fast Response Survey System, School and Staffing Survey, and School Survey on Crime and Safety) Includes all territory outside a Census-defined urbanized area or urban cluster. For more information see: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/edge/Geographic/LocaleBoundaries.
Rural school (Youth Risk Behavior Survey) A school located outside an MSA.
School An education institution consisting of one or more of grades K–12.
School crime Any criminal activity that is committed on school property.
School year The 12-month period of time denoting the beginning and ending dates for school accounting purposes, usually from July 1 through June 30.
School-associated violent death A homicide, suicide, or legal intervention death in which the fatal injury occurred on the campus of a functioning elementary or secondary school in the United States, while the victim was on the way to or from regular sessions at such a school, or while the victim was attending or traveling to or from an official school-sponsored event. Victims may include nonstudents as well as students and staff members.
Secondary school A school in which the lowest grade is greater than or equal to grade 7 and the highest grade is less than or equal to grade 12.
Secondary teachers See instructional level.
Serious violent incidents (Fast Response Survey System and School Survey on Crime and Safety) Include rape, sexual battery other than rape, physical attacks or fights with a weapon, threats of physical attack with a weapon, and robbery with or without a weapon.
Serious violent victimization (National Crime Victimization Survey and School Crime Supplement) Rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.
Sexual assault (National Crime Victimization Survey) A wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape. These crimes include attacks or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between the victim and offender. Sexual assault may or may not involve force and includes such things as grabbing or fondling. Sexual assault also includes verbal threats.
Sexual battery (Fast Response Survey System and School Survey on Crime and Safety) An incident that includes threatened rape, fondling, indecent liberties, child molestation, or sodomy. Principals were instructed that classification of these incidents should take into consideration the age and developmentally appropriate behavior of the offenders.
Sexual harassment (Fast Response Survey System and School Survey on Crime and Safety) Unsolicited, offensive behavior that inappropriately asserts sexuality over another person. The behavior may be verbal or nonverbal.
Simple assault Attack without a weapon resulting either in no injury, minor injury, or an undetermined injury requiring less than 2 days of hospitalization. Also includes attempted assault without a weapon.
Stratification A survey sampling technique in which the target population is divided into mutually exclusive groups or strata based on some variable or variables (e.g., metropolitan area) and sampling of units occurs separately within each stratum.
Suburban (Fast Response Survey System, School and Staffing Survey, and School Survey on Crime and Safety) Includes all territory inside a Census-defined urbanized area but outside a principal city. For more information see: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/edge/Geographic/LocaleBoundaries.
Suburban school (Youth Risk Behavior Survey) A school located inside an MSA, but outside the "central city."
Suicide A death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of the behavior.
Theft (National Crime Victimization Survey) Completed or attempted theft of property or cash without personal contact.
Theft/larceny (School Survey on Crime and Safety) Taking things valued at over $10 without personal confrontation. Specifically, the unlawful taking of another person’s property without personal confrontation, threat, violence, or bodily harm. Included are pocket picking, stealing 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 bicycles, theft from vending machines, and all other types of thefts.
Total victimization Combination of violent victimization and theft. In the School Crime Supplement, if a student reported an incident of either type, he or she is counted as having experienced any victimization. If the student reported having experienced both, he or she is counted once under "total victimization."
Town Includes all territory inside a Census-defined urban cluster. For more information see: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/edge/Geographic/LocaleBoundaries.
Undetermined violent death A violent death for which the manner was undetermined. That is, the information pointing to one manner of death was no more compelling than one or more other competing manners of death when all available information was considered.
Unequal probabilities A survey sampling technique in which sampled units do not have the same probability of selection into the sample. For example, the investigator may oversample rural students in order to increase the sample sizes of rural students. Rural students would then be more likely than other students to be sampled.
Urban school A school located inside an MSA and inside the "central city."
Vandalism The willful damage or destruction of school property, including bombing, arson, graffiti, and other acts that cause property damage. Includes damage caused by computer hacking.
Victimization A crime as it affects one individual person or household. For personal crimes, the number of victimizations is equal to the number of victims involved in a crime incident.
Victimization rate A standardized measure of the occurrence of victimizations among a specific population group at one point in time. For personal crimes, victimization rates per 1,000 persons are estimated by dividing the number of victimizations that occurred during the reference period by the population group and multiplying by 1,000.
Violent incidents (Fast Response Survey System and School Survey on Crime and Safety) Include rape, sexual battery other than rape, physical attacks or fights with or without a weapon, threats of physical attack with or without a weapon, and robbery with or without a weapon.
Violent victimization (National Crime Victimization Survey and School Crime Supplement) Includes serious violent victimization, rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.
Weapon (Fast Response Survey System and School Survey on Crime and Safety) Any instrument or object used with the intent to threaten, injure, or kill. Includes look-alikes if they are used to threaten others.
Weapon (Youth Risk Behavior Survey) Examples of weapons appearing in the questionnaire include guns, knives, and clubs.