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Table 5.  Number and percentage of public middle 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 middle schools 890   5.8   1,400   0.1 !   7,860   51.5   18,140   1.9
                                 
Enrollment size                                
Less than 300           860   31.0   1,530   2.4
300–499 200 ! 5.9 ! 420 ! 0.3 !   1,590   45.6   3,000   2.1
500–999 530   7.5   780   0.2     4,110   58.0   9,750   1.9
1,000 or more 150   7.9   200   0.1     1,310   67.7   3,870   1.7
                                 
Urbanicity                                
City 320   9.2   560 ! 0.2 !   2,080   59.0   5,250   2.1
Suburb 340   7.1   530   0.2     2,470   51.5   6,270   1.8
Town 120 ! 4.4 ! 180 !     1,510   53.7   3,010   2.2
Rural 100 ! 2.4 ! 120 ! 0.1 !   1,800   43.6   3,620   1.8
                                 
Crime level where students live2                                
High 170 ! 16.4 !       590   57.1   1,700   2.5
Moderate 170   5.4   270   0.1 !   1,960   60.9   5,050   2.6
Low 330   3.8   480   0.1     3,850   44.1   7,470   1.4
Mixed 220   9.5   260   0.2     1,460   64.3   3,920   2.5
                                 
Percent of combined Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, and American Indian/ Alaska Native students                                 
Less than 5 percent           650   33.5   950   1.1
5 to less than 20 percent 100 ! 2.5 !   0.1 !   1,650   41.6   3,100   1.4
20 to less than 50 percent 210   5.1   330 ! 0.1 !   2,250   55.8   5,210   2.0
50 percent or more 570   10.7   940   0.3     3,310   62.3   8,890   2.4
                                 
Percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch                                
0–20 percent 90 ! 3.5 ! 130 ! 0.1 !   880   32.7   1,480   0.8
21–50 percent 220   4.1   310   0.1 !   2,660   49.6   5,560   1.7
More than 50 percent 570   7.9   960   0.2 !   4,320   59.9   11,100   2.6
                                 
Percent of students below 15th percentile on standardized tests                                
0–5 percent 180   3.2   250 ! 0.1     2,640   48.1   5,240   1.5
6–15 percent 320   5.4   420   0.1     3,170   52.9   7,180   2.0
More than 15 percent 390   10.3   730   0.3 !   2,050   54.4   5,720   2.4
                                 
Percent of students likely to attend college                                
0–35 percent 320   10.1   590 ! 0.3 !   1,820   57.0   5,190   2.9
36–60 percent 260   5.5   410   0.1 !   2,870   60.0   6,980   2.4
More than 60 percent 300   4.2   410   0.1     3,170   43.5   5,980   1.3
                                 
Percent of students who consider academic achievement important                                
0–25 percent 120 ! 14.1 ! 190 ! 0.4 !   650   73.8   1,930   3.7
26–50 percent 250   8.5   460 ! 0.3 !   1,660   56.8   4,490   2.6
51–75 percent 190 ! 4.1   270 ! 0.1 !   2,410   51.3   5,520   2.0
More than 75 percent 320   4.8   490   0.1     3,140   46.5   6,200   1.4
                                 
Percent male enrollment                                
0–44 percent 80 ! 5.4 ! 110 ! 0.2 !   650   45.1   1,380   2.1
45–55 percent 740   5.8   1,120   0.1 !   6,740   52.8   15,700   1.9
More than 55 percent   7.0 !       470   45.1   1,060   2.0
                                 
Student-to-FTE ratio3                                
Less than 12 students 80 ! 3.8 ! 130 !     940   42.7   2,050   2.1
12–16 students 320   5.1   550 ! 0.1 !   3,050   48.7   6,430   1.8
More than 16 students 490   7.1   720   0.2     3,870   57.0   9,660   2.0
                                 
Number of classroom changes4                                
0–3 changes           240   54.1   510 ! 2.0
4–6 changes 300   5.5   520   0.2     2,910   52.7   6,590   1.9
More than 6 changes 580   6.2   860   0.2     4,710   50.7   11,040   1.9
                                 
Regular use of law enforcement5                                
Regular use 730   7.2   1,130   0.2     5,700   56.3   14,140   2.0
No regular use 150 ! 3.0 ! 270 ! 0.1 !   2,160   42.1   4,000   1.6
                                 
Number of serious discipline problems6                                
No problems 320   3.8   450   0.1     3,750   44.0   7,100   1.4
1 problem 250   6.8   410   0.2     2,060   54.9   4,790   2.0
2 problems           900   63.1   2,000   2.2
3 or more problems 260   16.7   500 ! 0.5 !   1,160   73.3   4,250   3.9
                                 
Transfers as a percentage of enrollment7                                
Less than 6 percent 140 ! 4.1 ! 200 ! 0.1 !   1,490   42.1   2,800   1.3
6 to less than 11 percent 170   4.9   240   0.1 !   1,890   53.8   4,290   1.9
11 to less than 21 percent 340   6.8   500   0.2     2,470   49.7   5,510   1.9
21 percent or more 230   7.2   460 ! 0.2 !   2,010   62.1   5,550   2.6
                                 
Prevalence of schoolwide
disruptions8
                               
No disruptions 770   5.4   1,220   0.1 !   7,240   50.6   16,660   1.9
Any disruptions 120 ! 12.8 ! 180 ! 0.3 !   620   66.0   1,480   2.5
                                 
Percent of students absent on a daily basis                                 
0–2 percent 60 ! 7.9 ! 100 !     300   41.2   610   1.3
3–5 percent 480   5.1   760   0.1 !   4,570   49.1   9,330   1.6
6–10 percent 340   7.2   500   0.2     2,650   56.4   6,870   2.5
More than 10 percent           340   65.6   1,330   3.8
#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.
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).