Skip Navigation
Click to open navigation

Indicator 18: Students' Reports of Avoiding School Activities or Classes or Specific Places in School
(Last Updated: May 2017)

In 2015, about 5 percent of students reported that they avoided at least one school activity or class or one or more places in school during the previous school year because they thought someone might attack or harm them.

The School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey asked students ages 12–18 whether they avoided school activities or classes79 or one or more places in school80 because they were fearful that someone might attack or harm them.81 In 2015, about 5 percent of students reported that they avoided at least one school activity or class or one or more places in school during the previous school year because they thought someone might attack or harm them (figure 18.1 and table 18.1). Specifically, 2 percent of students reported avoiding at least one school activity or class, and 4 percent reported avoiding one or more places in school.82


Figure 18.1. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported avoiding school activities or classes or avoiding one or more places in school because of fear of attack or harm during the school year: 2015

Figure 18.1. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported avoiding school activities or classes or avoiding one or more places in school because of fear of attack or harm during the school year: 2015

NOTE: “Avoided school activities or classes” includes avoiding any (extracurricular) activities, avoiding any classes, and staying home from school. “Avoided one or more places in school” includes avoiding entrance to the school, hallways or stairs in school, parts of the school cafeteria, any school restrooms, and other places inside the school building. Students were asked whether they avoided places, activities, or classes because they thought that someone might attack or harm them. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding and because students reporting more than one type of avoidance were counted only once in the totals.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 2015.


There was no overall pattern of increase or decrease between 1999 and 2015 in the percentage of students who reported that they avoided at least one school activity or class or one or more places in school because of fear of attack or harm. The percentage in 2015 was lower than the percentage in 1999 (7 percent) but not measurably different from the percentage in 2013. 

In 2015, about 1 percent each of students reported that they avoided any activities, avoided any classes, and stayed home from school because of fear of attack or harm. With respect to avoiding specific places in school, 2 percent each of students reported that they avoided the hallways or stairs in school and any school restrooms, and 1 percent each reported that they avoided parts of the school cafeteria, the entrance to the school, and other places inside the school building.

Students' reports of avoiding one or more places in school because of fear of attack or harm varied by grade. In 2015, a higher percentage of 6th-graders (6 percent) than of 10th- (3 percent), 11th- (2 percent), and 12th-graders (3 percent) reported avoiding one or more places in school (figure 18.2 and table 18.1). The percentage of students who reported avoiding one or more places in school was also higher for 7th-graders (5 percent) than for 10th- and 11th-graders, and it was higher for 9th-graders (4 percent) than for 11th-graders. There were no measurable differences by sex and race/ethnicity in the percentage of students reporting avoiding one or more places in school because of fear of attack or harm.


Figure 18.2. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported avoiding one or more places in school because of fear of attack or harm during the school year, by selected student and school characteristics: 2015

Figure 18.2. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported avoiding one or more places in school because of fear of attack or harm during the school year, by selected student and school characteristics: 2015

! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
1 Refers to the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) status of the respondent’s household as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Categories include “central city of an MSA (Urban),” “in MSA but not in central city (Suburban),” and “not MSA (Rural).”
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 2015.


In 2015, higher percentages of students in urban (5 percent) and suburban areas (4 percent) reported avoiding one or more places in school than did students in rural areas (2 percent). In addition, a higher percentage of public school students than of private school students reported avoiding one or more places in school (4 vs. 2 percent).


This indicator repeats information from the Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2016 report. For more information: Table 18.1, and https://nces.ed.gov/programs/crime/.


79 "Avoided school activities or classes" includes avoiding any (extracurricular) activities, avoiding any classes, and staying home from school. Students who reported more than one type of avoidance of school activities or classes were counted only once in the total for avoiding activities or classes. Before 2007, students were asked whether they avoided "any extracurricular activities." Starting in 2007, the survey wording was changed to "any activities." Caution should be used when comparing changes in this item over time.
80 "Avoided one or more places in school" includes avoiding entrance to the school, hallways or stairs in school, parts of the school cafeteria, any school restrooms, and other places inside the school building. Students who reported avoiding multiple places in school were counted only once in the total for students avoiding one or more places.
81 For the 2001 survey only, the wording was changed from "attack or harm" to "attack or threaten to attack." See appendix A for more information.
82 Students who reported both avoiding one or more places in school and avoiding school activities or classes were counted only once in the total for any avoidance.