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Table 5.  Number and percentage of public elementary schools reporting incidents of possession of a firearm or explosive device or possession of a knife or sharp object at school, the number of incidents, and the rate of incidents per 1,000 students, by selected school characteristics: School year 2009–10

 
  Possession of a firearm or explosive device1     Possession of a knife or sharp object  
School characteristic Number of schools   Percent of schools   Number of incidents   Rate per 1,000 students     Number of schools   Percent of schools   Number of incidents   Rate per 1,000 students  
All public elementary schools 1,700   3.5   1,900   0.1     16,400   33.5   28,600   1.3  
                                   
Enrollment size                                  
Less than 300           3,200   28.5   4,800   2.0  
300–499 700 ! 4.1 ! 800 ! 0.1 !   5,500   30.0   9,500   1.3  
500–999 600 ! 3.2 ! 700 ! 0.1     7,400   40.4   13,400   1.2  
1,000 or more           300 ! 27.6 ! 1,000 ! 0.8 !
                                   
Urbanicity                                  
City 500 ! 3.2 ! 500 ! 0.1 !   4,400   31.3   8,600   1.2  
Suburb 500 ! 3.2 ! 600 ! 0.1 !   4,500   29.5   7,200   0.9  
Town           3,100   48.0   5,400   2.0  
Rural 600 ! 4.3 ! 600 ! 0.1 !   4,300   33.4   7,400   1.5  
                                   
Crime level where students live2                                  
High           1,200   36.2   3,100   1.6  
Moderate 700 ! 6.3 ! 800 ! 0.2 !   4,100   34.7   7,700   1.5  
Low 800 ! 3.0 ! 900 ! 0.1     8,600   30.4   13,500   1.1  
Mixed           2,500   44.3   4,300   1.5  
                                   
Percent of combined Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native students                                   
Less than 5 percent           1,300   21.8   2,100 ! 1.1  
5 to less than 20 percent           3,400   28.3   5,100   1.0  
20 to less than 50 percent 200 !   200 ! #     4,300   35.6   7,300   1.2  
50 percent or more 1,100   5.7   1,200 ! 0.1 !   7,400   38.9   14,100   1.4  
                                   
Percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch                                  
0–20 percent           1,400   17.4   1,900   0.5  
21–50 percent           3,700   27.3   5,300   0.9  
More than 50 percent 1,500   5.3   1,600   0.1 !   11,300   41.1   21,500   1.7  
                                   
Percent of students below 15th percentile on standardized tests                                  
0–5 percent           6,500   31.8   10,500   1.1  
6–15 percent 800 ! 4.9 ! 900 ! 0.1 !   5,700   33.1   9,800   1.2  
More than 15 percent 600 ! 5.6 ! 700 ! 0.1 !   4,200   37.1   8,300   1.6  
                                   
Percent of students likely to attend college                                  
0–35 percent 400 ! 3.2 ! 500 ! 0.1 !   4,600   39.5   9,100   1.7  
36–60 percent 800 ! 5.8 ! 800 ! 0.1 !   5,200   38.7   8,600   1.5  
More than 60 percent 600 ! 2.3 ! 600 ! #     6,600   27.5   10,800   0.9  
                                   
Percent of students who consider academic achievement important                                  
0–25 percent           900   36.2   1,700   1.7  
26–50 percent           2,300   39.7   4,600   1.7  
51–75 percent 500 ! 3.7 ! 600 ! 0.1 !   5,300   40.1   9,600   1.7  
More than 75 percent 900 ! 3.4   1,000 ! 0.1     7,800   28.7   12,700   1.0  
                                   
Percent male enrollment                                  
0–44 percent           1,400   29.7   2,200   1.1  
45–55 percent 1,600   4.1   1,700   0.1     12,800   33.1   22,900   1.3  
More than 55 percent           2,200   38.9   3,500   1.5  
                                   
Student-to-FTE ratio3                                  
Less than 12 students           2,200   36.3   3,600   2.0  
12–16 students 700 ! 3.5 ! 800 ! 0.1 !   6,300   32.3   10,700   1.2  
More than 16 students 600 ! 2.5 ! 700 ! 0.1     7,900   33.7   14,200   1.2  
                                   
Number of classroom changes4                                  
0–3 changes 800   4.4   900   0.1 !   5,200   29.9   9,900   1.2  
4–6 changes 900 ! 3.6 ! 900 ! 0.1 !   8,600   35.4   13,900   1.2  
More than 6 changes           2,500   35.4   4,800   1.5  
                                   
Regular use of law enforcement5                                  
Regular use 700 ! 5.2 ! 800 ! 0.1 !   5,100   37.9   9,700   1.4  
No regular use 1,000 ! 2.8 ! 1,100 ! 0.1     11,200   31.8   18,900   1.2  
                                   
Number of serious discipline problems6                                  
No problems 1,100   2.8   1,100 ! 0.1     11,200   29.5   17,800   1.0  
1 problem           3,500   48.1   7,100   2.0  
2 problems           900   51.7   1,700   2.0  
3 or more problems           700   39.0   2,000 ! 1.9 !
                                   
Transfers as a percentage of enrollment7                                  
Less than 6 percent           3,000   24.3   5,000   0.9  
6 to less than 11 percent 500 ! 4.8 ! 600 ! 0.1 !   3,400   32.4   5,900   1.2  
11 to less than 21 percent 400 ! 3.2 ! 400 ! 0.1 !   4,400   37.4   7,300   1.3  
21 percent or more 700 ! 4.9 ! 700 ! 0.1 !   5,500   38.9   10,500   1.6  
                                   
Prevalence of schoolwide
disruptions8
                                 
No disruptions 1,600   3.4   1,700   0.1     15,300   32.5   26,700   1.2  
Any disruptions           1,100   56.9   1,900   2.2  
                                   
Percent of students absent on a daily basis                                   
0–2 percent           1,000   29.7   1,500   1.0  
3–5 percent 1,200   3.7   1,300   0.1     8,900   28.2   14,500   1.0  
6–10 percent 500 ! 3.9 ! 500 ! 0.1 !   5,900   48.8   11,500   2.2  
More than 10 percent           500 ! 28.8   1,100 ! 1.5  
#Rounds to zero.
!Interpret data with caution. The standard error for this estimate is from 30 percent to 50 percent of the estimate’s value.
‡Reporting standards not met. The standard error represents more than 50 percent of the estimate.
1Firearm or explosive device was defined as "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, or similar devices designed to explode and capable of causing bodily harm or property damage."
2Respondents were asked, "How would you describe the crime level in the area(s) in which your students live?" Response options included "high level of crime," "moderate level of crime," "low level of crime," and "students come from areas with very different levels of crime."
3Student-to-FTE ratio was calculated by dividing the total number of students enrolled in the school by the total number of full-time-equivalent teachers and aides. The total number of full-time-equivalent teachers and aides is a combination of the full-time and part-time teachers and aides, including special education teachers and aides, with an adjustment to compensate for the part-time status.
4Respondents were asked, "How many classroom changes do most students make in a typical day?" Responses exclude morning arrival and afternoon departure.
5Respondents were asked, "During the 2009–10 school year, did you have any security guards, security personnel, or sworn law enforcement officers present at your school at least once a week?"
6Serious discipline problems include student racial/ethnic tensions, student bullying, student sexual harassment of other students, student verbal abuse of teachers, widespread disorder in classrooms, student acts of disrespect for teachers other than verbal abuse, gang activities, and cult or extremist group activities. If a respondent reported that any of these problems occurred daily or weekly in their school, each was counted once in the total number of serious discipline problems.
7Transfers as a percentage of enrollment combines the number of students who were transferred to a school and the number of students who were transferred from a school divided by the total number of students enrolled in the school.
8Schoolwide disruptions include actions that disrupted school activities such as death threats, bomb threats, and chemical, biological, or radiological threats. Respondents were instructed to exclude all fire alarms, including false alarms.
NOTE: "At school" was defined for respondents to include activities happening in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses, and at places that hold school-sponsored events or activities. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Responses were provided by the principal or the person most knowledgeable about crime and safety issues at the school. Elementary schools are defined as schools in which the lowest grade is not higher than grade 3 & the highest grade is not higher than grade 8. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 2009–10 School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS).