Key Findings

Preliminary data show that there were 53 school-associated violent deaths1 from July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013 (Indicator 1). In 2014, among students ages 12–18, there were about 850,100 nonfatal victimizations at school,2 which included 363,700 theft victimizations3 and 486,400 violent victimizations (simple assault4 and serious violent victimizations5) (Indicator 2). During the 2013–14 school year, there were 1.3 million reported discipline incidents in the United States for reasons related to alcohol, drugs, violence, or weapons possession that resulted in a student being removed from the education setting for at least an entire school day (Indicator 19). Of the 781 total hate crimes6 reported on college campuses in 2013, the most common type of hate crime reported by institutions was destruction, damage, and vandalism (364 incidents), followed by intimidation (295 incidents) and simple assault (89 incidents; Indicator 23).

The following key findings are drawn from each section of the report.

Spotlights

  • The percentage of students who had ever been suspended or expelled was higher for fall 2009 ninth-graders who did not complete high school by 2013 than for fall 2009 ninth-graders who did complete high school by 2013 (54 vs. 17 percent; Spotlight 1).

  • A higher percentage of Black students (36 percent) than of Hispanic (21 percent), White (14 percent), and Asian students (6 percent) had ever been suspended or expelled from school (Spotlight 1).

  • A greater percentage of students of low socioeconomic status (SES) than of students of middle SES had ever been suspended or expelled (29 vs. 17 percent), and both of these percentages were greater than the percentage of high-SES students who had ever been suspended or expelled (9 percent; Spotlight 1).

  • The percentage of students with low school engagement who had ever been suspended or expelled (28 percent) was higher than the percentage of students with middle or high levels of school engagement who had ever been suspended or expelled (21 percent and 9 percent, respectively). Similarly, the percentage of students with a low sense of school belonging who had ever been suspended or expelled (28 percent) was higher than the percentage of students with a middle or high sense of school belonging who had ever been suspended or expelled (16 percent and 15 percent, respectively; Spotlight 1).

  • Between 1997 and 2013, the 1-day count of juvenile offenders in residential placement facilities that house such offenders fell by nearly 50 percent, from approximately 105,000 to 54,000 (Spotlight 2).

  • The rate of residential placement for Black male juvenile offenders in 2013 was 1.6 times the rate for American Indian/Alaska Native males, 2.7 times the rate for Hispanic males, 5 times the rate for White males, and over 16 times the rate for Asian males (Spotlight 2).

  • In 2013, 32 percent of juvenile offenders were housed in state-run residential placement facilities, with an additional 32 percent in private facilities and 36 percent in local facilities (Spotlight 2).

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Violent Deaths

  • Of the 53 student, staff, and nonstudent school-associated violent deaths occurring between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, there were 41 homicides, 11 suicides, and 1 legal intervention death.7 Of these 53 deaths, there were 31 homicides, 6 suicides, and 1 legal intervention death of school-age youth (ages 5-18) at school (Indicator 1).

  • During the 2012-13 school year, 31 of the 1,186 homicides among school-age youth occurred at school.8 During the same period, there were 6 suicides of school-age youth at school, compared with 1,590 total suicides of school-age youth that occurred in calendar year 2012 (Indicator 1).

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Nonfatal Student and Teacher Victimization

  • In 2014, among students ages 12-18, there were about 850,100 nonfatal victimizations at school,9  which included 363,700 theft victimizations10 and 486,400 violent victimizations (simple assault11 and serious violent victimizations12) (Indicator 2).

  • In 2014, students ages 12-18 experienced 33 nonfatal victimizations per 1,000 students at school and 24 per 1,000 students away from school (Indicator 2).

  • In 2014, students residing in rural areas had higher rates of total victimization at school (53 victimizations per 1,000 students) than students residing in suburban areas (28 victimizations per 1,000 students). These differences were primarily driven by higher rates of violent victimization at school among students living in rural areas. In the same year, the rate of total victimization at school for students residing in urban areas was 32 victimizations per 1,000 students (Indicator 2).

  • Between 1992 and 2014, the total victimization rate at school declined 82 percent, from 181 victimizations per 1,000 students in 1992 to 33 victimizations per 1,000 students in 2014. The total victimization rate away from school declined 86 percent, from 173 victimizations per 1,000 students in 1992 to 24 victimizations per 1,000 students in 2014 (Indicator 2).

  • In 2013, approximately 3 percent of students ages 12-18 reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months. Two percent of students reported theft, 1 percent reported violent victimization, and less than one-half of 1 percent reported serious violent victimization (Indicator 3).

  • Between 1995 and 2013, the percentage of students ages 12-18 who reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months decreased overall (from 10 to 3 percent), as did the percentages of students who reported theft (from 7 to 2 percent), violent victimization (from 3 to 1 percent), and serious violent victimization (from 1 percent to less than one-half of 1 percent; Indicator 3).

  • About 7 percent of students in grades 9-12 reported being threatened or injured with a weapon such as a gun, knife, or club on school property13 in 2013. The percentage of students who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property has decreased over the last decade, from 9 percent in 2003 to 7 percent in 2013 (Indicator 4).

  • In each survey year from 1993 to 2013, a higher percentage of males than of females in grades 9-12 reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property. In 2013, approximately 8 percent of males and 6 percent of females reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property. The percentage of males who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property was lower in 2013 than in 2011 (8 vs. 10 percent); however, the percentages for females were not measurably different between these two years (Indicator 4).

  • In 2013, a higher percentage of students in grades 9-12 reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property 1 time (3 percent) than reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property 2 or 3 times (2 percent), 4 to 11 times (1 percent), or 12 or more times (1 percent; Indicator 4).

  • During the 2011-12 school year, a higher percentage of public than private school teachers reported being threatened with injury (10 vs. 3 percent) or being physically attacked (6 vs. 3 percent) by a student from their school (Indicator 5).

  • Ten percent of elementary teachers and 9 percent of secondary teachers reported being threatened by a student from their school in 2011-12. The percentage of elementary teachers who reported being physically attacked by a student was higher than the percentage of secondary teachers (8 vs. 3 percent; Indicator 5).

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School Environment

  • During the 2013-14 school year, 65 percent of public schools recorded that one or more incidents of violence had taken place, amounting to an estimated 757,000 crimes. This figure translates to a rate of approximately 15 crimes per 1,000 students enrolled in 2013-14 (Indicator 6).

  • In 2013-14, about 58 percent of public schools recorded one or more incidents of a physical attack or fight without a weapon, 47 percent of schools recorded one or more incidents of threat of physical attack without a weapon, and 13 percent of public schools recorded one or more serious violent incidents (Indicator 6).

  • Primary schools recorded lower percentages of violent incidents in 2013-14 (53 percent) than middle schools (88 percent) and high schools and combined elementary/secondary schools (referred to as high/combined schools) (78 percent; Indicator 6).

  • The percentage of public schools that reported student bullying occurred at least once a week decreased from 29 percent in 1999-2000 to 16 percent in 2013-14. Similarly, the percentage of schools that reported the occurrence of student verbal abuse of teachers decreased from 13 percent in 1999-2000 to 5 percent in 2013-14 (Indicator 7).

  • The percentage of public schools reporting student harassment of other students based on sexual orientation or gender identity was lower in 2013-14 (1 percent) than in 2009-10 (3 percent; Indicator 7).

  • During the 2013-14 school year, the percentage of public schools that reported student bullying occurred at least once a week was higher for middle schools (25 percent) than high schools/combined schools (17 percent), and the percentages for both of these school levels was higher than the percentage of primary schools (12 percent; Indicator 7).

  • The percentage of students ages 12-18 who reported that gangs were present at their school decreased from 18 percent in 2011 to 12 percent in 2013. A higher percentage of students from urban areas (18 percent) reported a gang presence than students from suburban (11 percent) and rural areas (7 percent) in 2013 (Indicator 8).

  • A higher percentage of students attending public schools (13 percent) than of students attending private schools (2 percent) reported that gangs were present at their school in 2013 (Indicator 8).

  • In 2013, higher percentages of Hispanic (20 percent) and Black (19 percent) students reported the presence of gangs at their school than White (7 percent) and Asian (9 percent) students (Indicator 8).

  • The percentage of students in grades 9-12 who reported that illegal drugs were made available to them on school property increased from 1993 to 1995 (from 24 to 32 percent), but then decreased to 22 percent in 2013 (Indicator 9).

  • In 2013, lower percentages of Black students (19 percent) and White students (20 percent) than of Hispanic students (27 percent) and students of Two or more races (26 percent) reported that illegal drugs were made available to them on school property (Indicator 9).

  • During the 2013-14 school year, the rate of illicit drug-related discipline incidents was 394 per 100,000 students in the United States. The majority of states had rates between 100 and 1,000 illicit drug-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students during the 2013-14 school year. Five states had rates of illicit drug-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students that were below 100: Wyoming, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Michigan, while two states had rates above 1,000: Kentucky and New Mexico (Indicator 9).

  • The percentage of students ages 12-18 who reported being the target of hate-related words decreased from 12 percent in 2001 (the first year of data collection for this item) to 7 percent in 2013. The percentage of students who reported being the target of hate-related words in 2013 was lower than the percentage in 2011 (9 percent; Indicator 10).

  • The percentage of students ages 12-18 who reported seeing hate-related graffiti at school decreased from 36 percent in 1999 (the first year of data collection for this item) to 25 percent in 2013. The percentage of students who reported seeing hate-related graffiti in 2013 was lower than the percentage in 2011 (28 percent; Indicator 10).

  • In 2013, a lower percentage of White students than students of any other race/ethnicity reported being called a hate-related word during the school year. About 5 percent of White students reported being called a hate-related word, compared with 7 percent of Hispanic students, 8 percent of Black students, 10 percent of Asian students, and 11 percent of students of other races/ethnicities. There were no measurable differences by race/ethnicity, however, in the percentages of students who reported seeing hate-related graffiti at school in 2013 (Indicator 10).

  • In 2013, about 22 percent of students ages 12-18 reported being bullied at school during the school year. Higher percentages of females than of males reported that they were made fun of, called names, or insulted (15 vs. 13 percent); were the subject of rumors (17 vs. 10 percent); and were excluded from activities on purpose (5 vs. 4 percent). In contrast, a higher percentage of males (7 percent) than of females (5 percent) reported being pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on (Indicator 11).

  • In 2013, approximately 7 percent of students ages 12-18 reported being cyber-bullied anywhere during the school year. A higher percentage of female students than of male students reported being victims of cyber-bullying overall (9 vs. 5 percent; Indicator 11).

  • In 2013, about 33 percent of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that they were bullied at least once or twice a month during the school year, and about 27 percent of students who reported being cyber-bullied anywhere indicated that they were cyber-bullied at least once or twice a month. A higher percentage of students reported notifying an adult after being bullied at school than after being cyber-bullied anywhere (39 vs. 23 percent; Indicator 11).

  • The percentage of students who reported being bullied was lower in 2013 (22 percent) than in every prior survey year (28 percent each in 2005, 2009, and 2011 and 32 percent in 2007). The same pattern was observed across many of the student and school characteristics examined (Indicator 11).

  • In 2011-12, about 38 percent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that student misbehavior interfered with their teaching, and 35 percent reported that student tardiness and class cutting interfered with their teaching. Sixty-nine percent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that other teachers at their school enforced the school rules, and 84 percent reported that the principal enforced the school rules (Indicator 12).

  • The percentage of teachers who reported that student misbehavior interfered with their teaching fluctuated between 1993-94 and 2011-12; however, the percentage of teachers reporting that student tardiness and class cutting interfered with their teaching increased over this time period (from 25 to 35 percent). Between 1993-94 and 2011-12, the percentage of teachers who reported that school rules were enforced by other teachers fluctuated between 64 and 73 percent, and the percentage who reported that rules were enforced by the principal fluctuated between 82 and 89 percent (Indicator 12).

  • A higher percentage of public school teachers (41 percent) than of private school teachers (22 percent) reported that student misbehavior interfered with their teaching in 2011-12. In addition, 38 percent of public school teachers reported that student tardiness and class cutting interfered with their teaching, compared with 19 percent of private school teachers. During the same year, lower percentages of public school teachers than of private school teachers agreed that school rules were enforced by other teachers (68 vs. 77 percent) and by the principal in their school (84 vs. 89 percent; Indicator 12).

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Fights, Weapons, and Illegal Substances

  • In 2013, about 25 percent of students in grades 9-12 reported that they had been in a physical fight anywhere during the previous 12 months, and 8 percent reported that they had been in a physical fight on school property during this time period (Indicator 13).

  • The percentage of students in grades 9-12 who reported being in a physical fight anywhere decreased between 1993 and 2013 (from 42 to 25 percent), and the percentage of students in these grades who reported being in a physical fight on school property also decreased during this period (from 16 to 8 percent; Indicator 13).

  • In 2013, a lower percentage of 12th-graders than of 9th-, 10th-, and 11th-graders reported being in a physical fight, either anywhere or on school property during the previous 12 months. Higher percentages of Black students than of students of Two or more races, Hispanic students, Pacific Islander students, White students, and Asian students reported being in a physical fight anywhere or on school property during this time period (Indicator 13).

  • In 2013, about 19 percent of students in grades 9-12 reported being in a physical fight anywhere 1 to 3 times, 4 percent reported being in a physical fight anywhere 4 to 11 times, and 2 percent reported being in a physical fight anywhere 12 or more times during the previous 12 months. About 7 percent of students in these grades reported being in a physical fight on school property 1 to 3 times, 1 percent reported being in a physical fight on school property 4 to 11 times, and less than 1 percent reported being in a physical fight on school property 12 or more times during the 12-month period (Indicator 13).

  • The percentage of students who reported carrying a weapon on school property in the previous 30 days declined from 12 percent in 1993 to 5 percent in 2013. The percentage of students carrying weapons anywhere was lower in 2013 (18 percent) than in 1993 (22 percent; Indicator 14).

  • During the 2013-14 school year, there were 1,501 reported firearm possession incidents at schools, and the rate of firearm possession incidents was 3 per 100,000 students. Three states had rates above 10: Louisiana, Arkansas, and Vermont (Indicator 14).

  • The percentage of students ages 12-18 who reported that they had access to a loaded gun without adult permission, either at school or away from school, during the current school year decreased from 7 percent in 2007 to 4 percent in 2013 (Indicator 14).

  • Between 1993 and 2013, the percentage of students in grades 9-12 who reported having at least one drink of alcohol during the previous 30 days decreased from 48 to 35 percent (Indicator 15).

  • In 2013, about 47 percent of 12th-graders reported consuming alcohol on at least 1 day during the previous 30 days. This percentage was higher than the percentages for 9th-graders (24 percent), 10th-graders (31 percent), and 11th-graders (39 percent; Indicator 15).

  • During the 2013-14 school year, the rate of alcohol-related discipline incidents was 48 per 100,000 students in the United States. The majority of states had rates between 10 and 100 alcohol-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students during the 2013-14 school year. Texas and Wyoming had rates of alcohol-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students that were at or below 10. Tennessee, Montana, and Washington had rates above 100 (Indicator 15).

  • In 2013, some 23 percent of students in grades 9-12 reported using marijuana at least one time in the previous 30 days, which was a higher percentage than that reported in 1993 (18 percent) but not measurably different from that reported in 2011 (Indicator 16).

  • In every survey year between 1993 and 2011, higher percentages of male students than of female students reported using marijuana at least one time in the previous 30 days; in 2013, however, there was no measurable difference in the percentages reported by male and female students (25 and 22 percent, respectively; Indicator 16).

  • In 2013, the percentages of Asian students (16 percent) and White students (20 percent) who reported using marijuana at least one time during the previous 30 days were lower than the percentages reported by Hispanic students (28 percent), Black students and students of Two or more races (29 percent each), and American Indian/Alaska Native students (36 percent; Indicator 16).

  • In 2011, some 6 percent of students reported using marijuana at least one time on school property, which was not measurably different from the percentage in 1993. In every survey year between 1993 and 2011, higher percentages of male students than of female students reported using marijuana on school property at least one time in the previous 30 days (Indicator 16).

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Fear and Avoidance

  • The percentage of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm at school or on the way to and from school decreased from 12 percent in 1995 to 3 percent in 2013, and the percentage of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm away from school decreased from 6 percent in 1999 to 3 percent in 2013 (Indicator 17).

  • In 2013, higher percentages of Black and Hispanic students than of White students reported being afraid of attack or harm both at school and away from school. Additionally, higher percentages of students in urban areas than of students in suburban areas reported being afraid of attack or harm both at school and away from school (Indicator 17).

  • In 2013, about 5 percent of students reported that they avoided at least one school activity or class14 or one or more places in school15 during the previous school year because they feared being attacked or harmed.16 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 (Indicator 18).

  • A higher percentage of Hispanic students (5 percent) than of White students (3 percent) reported avoiding one or more places in school in 2013. In addition, a higher percentage of public school students (4 percent) than of private school students (1 percent) reported avoiding one or more places in school (Indicator 18).

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Discipline, Safety, and Security Measures

  • During the 2011-12 school year, 3.4 million public school students in the United States received in-school suspensions and 3.2 million received out-of-school suspensions (Indicator 19).

  • During the 2011-12 school year, the percentage of Black students receiving out-of-school suspensions (15 percent) was higher than the percentages for students of any other racial/ethnic group. In contrast, a lower percentage of Asian students (1 percent) received out-of-school suspensions than students from any other racial/ethnic group (Indicator 19).

  • During the 2013-14 school year, there were 1.3 million reported discipline incidents in the United States for reasons related to alcohol, drugs, violence, or weapons possession that resulted in a student being removed from the education setting for at least an entire school day. About 78 percent of these discipline incidents were violent incidents with or without physical injury, 15 percent were illicit drug related, 5 percent were weapons possessions, and 2 percent were alcohol related (Indicator 19).

  • Higher percentages of high/combined schools and middle schools than of primary schools reported the enforcement of a strict dress code; a requirement that students wear badges or picture IDs; and the use of random metal detector checks in 2013-14. Additionally, a higher percentage of high/combined schools reported the use of security cameras to monitor the school (89 percent) than middle schools (84 percent), and both these percentages were higher than the percentage of primary schools (67 percent) that reported the use of security cameras (Indicator 20).

  • From 1999-2000 to 2013-14, the percentage of public schools reporting the use of security cameras increased from 19 percent to 75 percent. Similarly, the percentage of public schools reporting that they controlled access to school buildings increased from 75 percent to 93 percent during this time (Indicator 20).

  • In the 2013-14 school year, about 88 percent of public schools reported they had a written plan for procedures to be performed in the event of a shooting, and 70 percent of those schools with a plan had drilled students on the use of the plan (Indicator 20).

  • In 2013, nearly all students ages 12-18 reported that they observed the use of at least one of the selected security measures at their schools. Most students ages 12-18 reported that their schools had a written code of student conduct and a requirement that visitors sign in (96 percent each). Approximately 90 percent of students reported the presence of school staff (other than security guards or assigned police officers) or other adults supervising the hallway, 77 percent reported the presence of one or more security cameras to monitor the school, and 76 percent reported locked entrance or exit doors during the day. Eleven percent of students reported the use of metal detectors at their schools, representing the least observed of the selected safety and security measures (Indicator 21).

  • About 76 percent of students ages 12-18 reported observing locked entrance or exit doors during the day in 2013, representing an increase from 65 percent in 2011 as well as an overall increase from 38 percent in 1999 (Indicator 21).

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Postsecondary Campus Safety and Security

  • In 2013, there were 27,600 criminal incidents on campuses at postsecondary institutions that were reported to police and security agencies, representing an 8 percent decrease from 2012 (29,800 incidents). The number of on-campus crimes per 10,000 full-time-equivalent students also decreased, from 19.8 in 2012 to 18.4 in 2013 (Indicator 22).

  • Between 2001 and 2013, the overall number of crimes reported by postsecondary institutions decreased by 34 percent, from 41,600 to 27,600. However, the number of reported forcible sex crimes on campus increased during this period, from 2,200 in 2001 to 5,000 in 2013 (a 126 percent increase; Indicator 22).

  • The number of disciplinary referrals for drug law violations reported by postsecondary institutions increased between 2001 and 2013 (from 23,900 to 54,100 for a 127 percent increase). The number of referrals for liquor law violations also increased from 130,000 in 2001 to 190,900 in 2013 (a 47 percent increase). The number of referrals for illegal weapons possession was lower in 2013 (1,400) than in 2006 (1,900), but it was higher than the number of such referrals in 2001 (1,300; Indicator 22).

  • The number of arrests for illegal weapons possession reported by postsecondary institutions was 3 percent lower in 2013 than in 2001 (1,000 vs. 1,100). Arrests for drug law violations increased by 70 percent during this period, from 11,900 in 2001 to 20,100 in 2013. The number of arrests for liquor law violations in 2013 (26,600) was lower than in any year between 2001 and 2012 (Indicator 22).

  • Of the 781 total hate crimes reported on college campuses in 2013, the most common type of hate crime reported by institutions was destruction, damage, and vandalism (364 incidents; also referred to as "vandalism"), followed by intimidation (295 incidents), simple assault (89 incidents), larceny (15 incidents), forcible sex offenses (7 incidents), aggravated assault (6 incidents), burglary (4 incidents), and robbery (1 incident). Similarly, vandalism, intimidation, and simple assault were the three most common types of hate crimes reported by institutions from 2009 to 2012 (Indicator 23).

  • Race-related hate crimes accounted for 41 percent of reported vandalisms classified as hate crimes, 37 percent of reported intimidations, and 38 percent of reported simple assaults in 2013. Additionally, 31 percent of vandalism hate crimes, 23 percent of intimidations, and 29 percent of simple assaults were associated with sexual orientation as the motivating bias (Indicator 23).

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1 A "school-associated violent death" is defined as "a homicide, suicide, or legal intervention (involving a law enforcement officer), 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 school or while the victim was attending or traveling to or from an official school-sponsored event." Victims of school-associated violent deaths include students, staff members, and others who are not students or staff members.
2 "At school" includes inside the school building, on school property, or on the way to or from school.
3 "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.
4 "Simple assault" includes threats and attacks without a weapon or serious injury.
5 "Serious violent victimization" includes the crimes of rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.
6 A hate crime is a criminal offense that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the perpetrator's bias against the victim(s) based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or disability.
7 A legal intervention death is defined as a death caused by police and other persons with legal authority to use deadly force, excluding legal executions.
8 This finding is drawn from the School-Associated Violent Deaths Study (SAVD), which defines "at school" for survey respondents as on school property, on the way to or from regular sessions at school, and while attending or traveling to or from a school-sponsored event.
9 This finding is drawn from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which defines "at school" for survey respondents as inside the school building, on school property, or on the way to or from school.
10 "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.
11 "Simple assault" includes threats and attacks without a weapon or serious injury.
12 "Serious violent victimization" includes the crimes of rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.
13 "On school property" was not defined for survey respondents.
14 "Avoided school activities or classes" includes student reports of three activities: avoiding any (extracurricular) activities, avoiding any classes, or staying home from school. 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.
15 "Avoiding one or more places in school" includes student reports of five activities: avoiding the entrance, any hallways or stairs, parts of the cafeteria, restrooms, and other places inside the school building.
16 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.