Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2006
Our nation’s schools should be safe havens for teaching and learning, free of crime and violence. Any instance of crime or violence at school not only affects the individuals involved but also may disrupt the educational process and affect bystanders, the school itself, and the surrounding community (Henry 2000).
For parents, school staff, and policymakers to address school crime effectively, they must possess an accurate understanding of the extent and nature of the problem. However, without collecting data, it is dif?cult to adequately gauge the scope of crime and violence in schools given the large amount of attention devoted to isolated incidents of extreme school violence. Ensuring safer schools requires establishing good indicators of the current state of school crime and safety across the nation and periodically monitoring and updating these indicators. This is the aim of Indicators of School Crime and Safety.
This report is the ninth in a series of annual publications produced jointly by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Institute of Education Sciences (IES), in the U.S. Department of Education and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the U.S. Department of Justice. This report presents the most recent data available on school crime and student safety. The indicators in this report are based on information drawn from a variety of independent data sources, including national surveys of students, teachers, and principals, and data collections from federal departments and agencies, including BJS, NCES, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most recent data collection for each indicator varied by survey, from 2003–04 to 2005. Each data source has an independent sample design, data collection method, and questionnaire design or is the result of a universe data collection. All comparisons described in this report are statistically significant at the .05 level. In 2005, the unit response rate for the School Crime Supplement did not meet NCES statistical standards; therefore, interpret the 2005 data from Indicators 3, 8, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 20 with caution. Additional information about methodology and the datasets analyzed in this report may be found in appendix A.
This report covers topics such as victimization, fights, bullying, disorder, weapons, student perceptions of school safety, teacher injury, and drugs and alcohol. Indicators of crime and safety are compared across different population subgroups and over time. Data on crimes that occur outside of school grounds are offered as a point of comparison where available.