The survey was performed under contract with Westat, using the NCES Fast Response Survey System (FRSS). Westat's Project Director was Elizabeth Farris, and the Associate Project Director and Survey Manager was Sheila Heaviside. Shelley Burns and Edith McArthur were the NCES Project Officers. The data were requested by Kathryn Chandler of the National Center for Education Statistics, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, and Joanne Wiggins of Planning and Evaluation Services in the U.S. Department of Education.
This report was reviewed by the following individuals:
For more information about the Fast Response Survey System or the Principal/School Disciplinarian Survey on School Violence, contact Shelley Burns, Data Development and Longitudinal Studies Group, National Center for Education Statistics, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20208-5651, telephone (202) 219-1463. This and other NCES reports are available on the Internet at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/.
Kachur, S.P., Stennies, G.M., Powell, K.E., Modzeleski, W., Stephens, R., Murphy, R., Kresnow, M., Sleet, D., and Lowry, R. (1996). "School Associated Violent Deaths in the United States, 1992 to 1994," Journal of the American Medical Association, 275(22):1729-1733.
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (1991). Teacher Survey on Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools, FRSS 42, NCES 91-091. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (1995). Student Victimization at School, NCES 95-204. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Terms Defined on the Survey Questionnaire
Firearm - 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, pipebombs, or similar devices designed to explode and capable of causing bodily harm or property damage.
Incident - a specific criminal act or offense involving one or more victims and one or more offenders.
Physical attack or fight without a weapon - 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 without using a weapon. This category should be used only when the attack is serious enough to warrant calling the police or other law enforcement representative.
Police or other law enforcement representatives - any regular state or local law enforcement officers, school resource officers, campus police, security personnel employed by school or district, or other security personnel with power to arrest or hold for arrest.
Robbery - 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.
Sexual battery - an incident that includes rape, fondling, indecent liberties, child molestation, or sodomy. These incidents should take into consideration the age and developmentally appropriate behavior of the offenders and are severe enough to warrant calling the police or other law enforcement representative.
Theft/larceny - 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 the owner), theft from a building, theft from a motor vehicle or motor vehicle parts or accessories, theft of bicycles, theft from vending machines, and other types of thefts.
Typical week - a typical full week of school. Avoid weeks with holidays, vacation periods, or weeks when unusual events took place at the school.
Vandalism - the damage or destruction of school property including bombing, arson, graffiti, and other acts that cause property damage.
Weapon - any instrument or object used with the intent to threaten, injure, or kill. Examples include guns, knives, razor blades or other sharp-edged objects, ice picks, other pointed objects (including pens, pencils), baseball bats, frying pans, sticks, rocks, and bottles.
Zero tolerance policy - a school or district policy that mandates predetermined consequences or punishment for specific offenses.
Instructional level - Schools were classified according to their grade span in the Common Core of Data (CCD).
Elementary school- low grade of 3 or less and high grade of 1 through 8.
Middle school - low grade of 4 through 9 and high grade of 4 through 9.
High school - low grade of 9 through 12 and a high grade of 10 through 12. Schools that did not precisely meet these qualifications were classified as "combined" and included in the analyses with high schools.
Size of enrollment - total number of students enrolled as defined by Common Core of Data (CCD).
Small - less than 300 students.
Medium - 300 to 999 students.
Large - 1,000 or more students.
Locale - as defined in the Common Core of Data (CCD).
City - a central city of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
Urban fringe - a place within an MSA of a central city, but not primarily its central city.
Town - a place not within an MSA, but with a population greater than or equal to 2,500 and defined as urban by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
Rural - a place with a population less than 2,500 and defined as rural by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
Northeast - Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Southeast - Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Central - Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
West - Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Percent minority enrollment - The percent of students enrolled in the school whose race or ethnicity is classified as one of the following: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, black, or Hispanic, based on data in the 1993-94 CCD file.
Percent of students at the school eligible for free or reduced-price lunch - Based on responses to question 9 on the survey questionnaire (see appendix A). This item served as the measurement of the concentration of poverty at the school. 35
Principals' report on discipline problems in school - based on a composite of principal responses to question 1, items a-q on the questionnaire (see appendix C).
No problems/minor problems - principals selected the responses "not a problem" or "minor" for all of the discipline problems listed in items a-q.
Moderate problems - principals selected "moderate" for one or more items a-q, but did not select "serious" for any of the items a-q.
Serious problems - principals selected "serious" for one or more items a-q.
Types of crime reported- based on a composite of principal responses to question 2, items a-h on the questionnaire providing the number of each of the following listed crimes: murder, suicide, rape or sexual battery, physical attack or fight with a weapon, robbery, physical attack or fight without a weapon, theft or larceny, and vandalism.
No crime - principals reported none of the crimes specified in question 2, a-h.
Any crime - principals reported at least one of any of the crimes specified in question 2, a-h.
Less serious or nonviolent crime - principals reported at least one incident of any of the specified less serious crimes (physical attack or fight without a weapon, theft or larceny, or vandalism) and no incidents of the more serious crimes (murder, suicide, rape or sexual battery, physical attack or fight with a weapon, or robbery).
Serious violent crime - principals reported at least one incident of any of the specified more serious or violent crimes (murder, suicide, rape or sexual battery, physical attack or fight with a weapon, or robbery).